Kallis reaches 10,000 ODI runs

A slow but steady ascent

Jacques Kallis' ODI batting in numbers

Mathew Varghese

January 23, 2009

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He may have missed out on achieving the milestone of 10,000 Test runs on this tour, but Jacques Kallis ensured he would leave Australian shores with 10,000 ODI runs. With the 16th run of his 60 at the SCG, Kallis - South Africa's leading run-getter in both Tests and ODIs -became the eighth to 10,000 runs in ODIs. With 12 more needed to reach 10,000 in Tests, he is all set to become the fifth to achieve the mark in both formats when South Africa host Australia next month - Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting and Rahul Dravid are the others in the club.

For over a decade now Kallis has been a regular feature of the South African line-up, and besides his solid presence at the crease he is also a more-than-handy medium-pacer and a reliable fielder, especially in the slips. With nearly 20,000 runs and 500 wickets in international cricket, besides 246 catches, Kallis' numbers are staggering, whatever the critics might throw at him.

7500 runs and 250 wickets in international cricket
Player Matches Runs Average Wickets Average Catches
Sanath Jayasuriya 546 20,199 34.88 418 35.74 197
Steve Waugh 493 18,496 41.65 287 35.56 223
Jacques Kallis 418 20,075 49.20 498 31.50 246
Kapil Dev 356 9031 27.53 687 28.83 135
Carl Hooper 329 11,523 35.89 307 41.01 235
Chris Cairns 279 8273 30.75 420 31.08 81
Imran Khan 263 7516 35.45 544 24.08 64
Note: This is only a listing and players have been ordered by matches played. Click here for a list of players with over 4000 runs and 150 wickets in ODIs, and here for the same in Tests.

Kallis averages the best among the eight in the 10,000-club in ODIs, a group led by Sachin Tendulkar, who has 16,422 runs at 44.26. A blip is Kallis' strike-rate of 71.68, but half the players in the eight - Inzamam-ul-Haq, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid are the others - have had strike-rates below 75.

Best ODI batting average (minimum 4000 runs)
Player Innings Runs Average Strike-rate 100s/50s
Michael Bevan 196 6912 53.58 74.16 6/46
Viv Richards 167 6721 47.00 90.20 11/45
Jacques Kallis 272 10044 45.44 71.68 16/71
Gordon Greenidge 127 5134 45.03 64.92 11/31
Dean Jones 161 6068 44.61 72.56 7/46
Sachin Tendulkar 409 16422 44.26 85.46 42/90

If the cut-off for the above table is reduced to 3000 runs, Kallis is squeezed to No. 5 by Kevin Pietersen and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Kallis possesses an impressive home record, with only Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting having scored more runs than him in home contests. At 47.82, his average is higher than those two. Kallis manages nearly the same at neutral venues, but it slips to 40.92 for away venues, which includes his poor return of 21 runs in three games against Australia as part of the ICC World XI. Kallis' 42.31 is still the best average for a South African batsman with 1500 runs in opposition territory - among those with 1000 runs, Boeta Dippenaar leads the list with an average over 50.

Kallis' record is not that impressive against the best team of his generation; he averages below 35 in matches against Australia and in Australia. He has not fared too well against England either, but overall he has performed consistently against most teams. (Click here for his career batting summary.

Nearly two-thirds of his runs have come at the crucial No. 3 spot, while he also performed well at Nos 4 and 5.

Highest averaging batsmen at No. 3 (minimum 2000 runs)
Player Innings Runs Average Strike-rate 100s/50s
Viv Richards 51 2418 57.57 86.88 5/15
Jacques Kallis 166 6399 46.70 71.86 12/43
Brian Lara 106 4447 45.84 85.98 12/26
Zaheer Abbas 47 2009 45.65 85.74 6/9
Graeme Hick 58 2182 44.53 75.26 5/16
Ricky Ponting 265 10,395 43.86 80.92 25/59
Dean Jones 131 5100 43.58 72.07 7/39
Rahul Dravid 100 3735 39.73 69.41 7/25
Inzamam-ul-Haq 61 2033 39.09 68.54 2/15

Kallis has gone past fifty 71 times in his ODI career, but with only 16 centuries his conversion-rate is not too impressive for a top-order batsman - among the others in the 10,000-club only Rahul Dravid and Inzamam-ul-Haq have a worse rate, partly due to the reason that they batted more in the middle order. The following table compares Kallis' record with that of Ponting's.

Break-up of scores (figures in percentage)*
Runs scored Kallis - % of innings Ponting - % of innings
0-19 41.54 40.00
20-49 26.47 29.15
50-89 23.16 20.68
90-99 2.94 1.36
100-149 5.88 8.47
150-199 - 0.34
*Includes not-out scores

Kallis' tendency to build his innings at a leisurely pace - his 48 off 63 balls in South Africa's pursuit of 378 against Australia at last year's World Cup after a blistering start being a case in point - has often come under criticism, and the stats show he has been among the slowest this decade. Among those with over 3000 runs, the worst strike-rate is Dippenaar's, indication perhaps of the role that the team has had for them: in a line-up of strokeplayers, they have had the responsibility of consolidating the innings or building a platform.

Lowest strike-rates this decade (minimum 3000 runs)
Player Innings Runs Average Strike-rate 100s/50s
Boeta Dippenaar 93 3378 42.75 68.44 4/26
Marvan Atapattu 172 5992 40.21 69.31 9/40
Stephen Fleming 158 4906 33.37 71.95 5/42
Jacques Kallis 181 6788 46.49 72.02 10/48
Shivnarine Chanderpaul 131 4617 42.35 72.15 6/32
Rahul Dravid 207 7115 40.42 72.40 5/61

It's a slow start to his innings that has hampered Kallis' career strike-rate, which has improved in recent years, but only marginally.

Kallis' and Ponting's strike-rate according to overs (year 2001 onwards)
Overs Kallis runs Average Strike-rate Ponting runs Average Strike-rate
1-20 2411 39.52 63.08 3669 53.95 78.82
21-40 2410 61.79 78.04 2736 45.60 87.50
41-50 845 52.81 122.29 598 31.47 130.85
Overall 5666 48.84 74.54 7005 47.65 85.01

Although he averages higher while chasing than batting first, over 50 in wins and nearly 60 in successful chases, Kallis has failed to step it up in tournament finals, with 339 runs in 17 matches at 24.21. However, he has performed in the big tournaments, averaging over 50 in the World Cup and the Champions Trophy.

A significant positive on Kallis' batting has been Graeme Smith's captaincy. Despite two leans years in 2005 and 2006 - when he averaged in the low 30s - Kallis' average with Smith in the team is over 50 and it's nearly three runs more with Smith as captain. At the same time, though, Kallis' bowling average has worsened.

Kallis' all-round record by captains
Captain Matches Runs Average Wickets Average Catches
Hansie Cronje 92 3085 42.26 73 30.67 37
Shaun Pollock 88 2940 41.40 99 30.13 38
Graeme Smith 89 3364 53.39 62 35.45 21
Jacques Kallis 10 229 28.62 9 20.55 4
Johan Botha 6 386 77.20 3 59.33 2

Mathew Varghese is sub-editor (stats) at Cricinfo

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Mathew VargheseClose
Sub-editor (stats) After graduating in Economics from St Xavier's College, Mathew Varghese did a journalism course before joining Cricinfo. Born and brought up in Bombay, Mathew thought hailing from the same city as Sachin Tendulkar would automatically make him inherit some of the genius. Sadly, besides a low grip on the bat handle, he acquired nothing else. He still dreams of being the perfect cricketer - a Bradmanesque batsman who can blend aggression with dour defence; a bowler who can perform the roles of McGrath, Lee and Warne; a fielder in the Jonty class; and a captain-cum-coach with an unprecedented record.
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Players/Officials: Jacques Kallis
Series/Tournaments: South Africa tour of Australia
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