South Africa news August 12, 2013

Kallis may have to decide on ODI future soon


Jacques Kallis will be forced to make a firm decision on his ODI future when he meets with Russell Domingo "soon." The national head coach wants South Africa's veteran allrounder to commit to playing "some ODI cricket" before the 2015 World Cup if he still harbours hopes of competing in that tournament. 

Kallis has not played an ODI for South Africa in almost 18 months after Gary Kirsten deemed it "no longer necessary" for him to play in bilateral series because he was too important to South Africa's Test ambitions. Kirsten left the door open for Kallis to make a return in major events but Domingo has indicated he will not follow suit.  

"If Jacques wants to play in the 2015 World Cup, he will have to play some ODI cricket for us along the way," Domingo said. "It will not be fair on other players if it doesn't happen that way." 

Kirsten's rationale was that Kallis' 17-year international career had earned him the right to pick and choose when he wanted to play but it was an approach which backfired. Kallis was recalled to the Twenty20 squad for three matches against England and the World T20 last September on the back of his form for IPL side Kolkata Knight Riders and because of his desire to win an ICC trophy. 

He showed promise with an unbeaten 48 against England but he scored only 24 runs in the tournament itself. His contribution with the ball was more notable with a career-best 4 for 15 against Zimbabwe and a wicket in three of the four other matches South Africa played, although that did not change their fortunes. They crashed out after the Super Eights round. 

Kallis was also due to be part of the squad that played in June's Champions Trophy but he pulled out at the last minute, throwing South Africa's plans into disarray. Two days before the squad was announced, South Africa's convenor of selectors Andrew Hudson confirmed Kallis was part of the plans. He was, at that stage, unaware of Kallis's 11th hour withdrawal because of "personal reasons." That decision was communicated only to Kirsten and not the selection panel, until much later, who then included David Miller instead. 

South Africa were also without Graeme Smith for the tournament, because of injury, and their lack of experience showed. They exited the competition at the semi-final stage after a batting collapse which left Kirsten so shell-shocked he said they "choked" even when it was clear they were simply outplayed. Domingo does not want to find himself in the same boat. 

Instead, he wants a certain group of "about 15 to 18 players" who he will work with ahead of the 2015 World Cup and said he has a "pretty good" idea of who those are. All indications are that the current squad will form the core of Domingo's base. If Kallis wants to be part of that, he will have to begin playing regular one-day cricket soon. Domingo confirmed he has a timeframe in mind and he will let Kallis know when that is. 

It may not be as soon as the five-match ODI series against Pakistan in October and November, but it could well be in the home summer when South Africa will play limited-overs cricket against both India and Australia. South Africa are also scheduled to travel to Zimbabwe and Australia next year and host West Indies before the 2015 World Cup and it is likely Domingo would want Kallis to feature in majority of those matches if he hopes to play in the main event.  

Should Kallis not agree, Domingo does not seem too phased. "As a South African unit, we've got to be able to live without Jacques Kallis," he said. "We've had him around for so long but we've got to realise there will be a day when he will no longer be around." 

Already, Kallis has not been part of the limited-overs squads and even his participation in Tests has been hampered by fitness concerns. He did not play in South Africa's last Test because of a calf injury and has suffered niggles in the last five Test series South Africa have played. His ailments have ranged from a stiff neck which kept him out of the Wellington Test in March 2012 to back spams which prevented him from bowling against England at Leeds and a hamstring problem which affected his batting and left him unable to bowl against Australia in Adelaide in November last year. 

He has been out of action since this year's IPL and has had the better part of six months form his various concerns. Kallis is expected to be back for the two-Test series against Pakistan in the UAE in October.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on August 18, 2013, 23:26 GMT

    Kallis has previously said that he enjoys (and excels) in all three formats. He has never said much less indicated that he either doesn't want to play or is 'retired' from ODIs. Kirsten applied that restriction on him not the other way round.!! The mere fact that Domingo has mentioned him suggests that he knows SA need his experience AND that currently there is no obvious replacement for him. However he, CSA, and Kallis need to be pragmatic and realise that at nearly 38 his schedule needs to be managed to ultimately extend his test career where he is most valued and effective. Comments about his selfishness, arrogance, and subsequent withdrawal of the CT are very wide of the mark. He chose & explained his reasons for not going at the end of a poor IPL (for him) & because of his lack of preparation for the longer format he felt it 'just wouldn't be right to be selected' Sounds very much like a team guy to me or was he just thinking of himself again..!!

  • Tim on August 14, 2013, 20:25 GMT

    There's no place for sentimentality in top class sport. In the cold light of day, and surveying it pragmatically, the great man will have to go...

  • Harmon on August 14, 2013, 16:27 GMT

    (3/3) ***CONTD***

    @Greatest_Game: My dear GG, not only have you given mismatched stats but your stats are also wrong.

    His debut onwards, incl Kallis, SA's record --- P316-W205-L97 & W/L Ratio is 2.11. His debut onwards, exc Kallis, SA's record --- P102-W65-L34 & W/L Ratio is 1.91.

    You had said it is 1.397 which is not the same as 1.91. Is it?

    No doubt 1.91 < 2.11 but not by much. When a settled team loses one player, the balance does get affected. In case of Kallis, SA do not miss his batting but what hurts them is finding slot for one extra player cos Kallis is an AR. This proves my point that Kallis is valuable as an AR but not as a pure batsman or bowler. A bit like Watson these days.

    Sans Kallis SA score more runs at better SR (35.93@5.06 vs 36.31@5.25) but concede more runs (26.45@4.64 vs 27.97@4.82). This proves my point that SA don't miss the batting of Kallis but the new bowler spoils it for them.


    I always talk on facts my dear. :-)


  • Harmon on August 14, 2013, 16:26 GMT

    (2/3) ***CONTD***

    @Greatest_Game: Dear GG, your defense for the low SR of Kallis is very weak. SRT has played for far far longer than Kallis and has a much much superior SR than Kallis. In fact, SRT's SR was even better in 90s when according to you SRs were low. As per you, Kallis' best two year SR is 83+, SRT's CAREER SR is 86+, OMG !!!

    IPL is 6 yrs old btw, not too small a time period. In IPL 2013, Kallis's SR was <100. That's a fact. Tests are over 125 yrs old, what is his SR in Tests? ~45. Wow.

    Kallis has the ability to get runs but gives no real impetus. Some ppl have filled their buckets with runs after several great bowlers retired in 00s. Barring Steyn who is a Saffer, there isn't anyone else of that class.

    Ofc "How many runs scored" is imp but "how are they scored" also matters in most cases. This is the heel of Kallis that makes him look like Achilles.

    CRICINFO: Pls publish this time.


  • Harmon on August 14, 2013, 16:24 GMT


    @Greatest_Game: My dear, you are using adjectives randomly for my comment.

    My comment is ill-informed? Pls check again, all stats I gave are absolutely correct (I gave 3 stats btw). My comment is irrelevant? This article is about Kallis and my comment is also about Kallis. My comment is demeaning? Did I not say he is a great AR?

    Actually, the stats you gave are mismatched.

    A better W/L ratio doesn't mean Kallis's BATTING or BOWLING helps. It only means SA have a better balance. Perhaps it is the extra vacany that helps SA win. Did you look into that?

    Kallis' avg in ODIs may be good but SR is ~72, that is not even avg but way below avg. SA would score <220 runs at that SR, is that good for you?

    Is Kallis (one of) all time greatest All-Rounders? Yes definitely. But not as a pure batsman and def not as a bowler.

    CRICINFO: Pls publish this time.


  • Dummy4 on August 14, 2013, 13:21 GMT

    Kallis is undoubtedly as special a player as there has ever been. But to be under ANY illusion that you're indespensible is absolutely wrong - hard to believe that someone with Kirsten's experience in the game effectively gave him free reign to make himself available or not. Arrogance in the extreme.

  • amit on August 14, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    @Grant King. Well that is exactly my point. No players achievements should be diminished because they had other greats around them. This is the same wheather its Sachin, Kallis or anyone else. It just seems an old tune when all you hear is that Sachin had class batsman around him so maybe things were easier. My point was that its been thw same for all and some even had great bowlers to back them up. I definitely don't agree with the fact that Sachin carried a billion people's hopes as I'm pretty sure the whole SC population doesn't watch cricket. I just think we should enjoy each player or what they bring to the game and stop this nonsense of comparing players all the time.It just gets boring

  • Dummy4 on August 14, 2013, 11:09 GMT

    Mike yes there were batsmen around all the greats does that mean there achievements count less than that of Sachin. When Sachin goes in to bat he wants to score runs for India and the others for their countries. every time I hear about Sachin carrying a billion hopes on him. Do you honestly belief he is thinking of a billion people. He is thinking how he can score and survive to best represent his team. Just like the other players. You make it seem as if Sachin was playing alone. catching balls and bowling and batting and keeping. The reason for India not being successful is their inability to be consistent outside the sub continent. PS Test cricket as ODI's is all played on batsmen's wickets. Kallis plays his cricket in the place where batsmen struggle the most. Tendulkar in India where players like Sehwag can hit through the line and with little skill. Andrew Hudson???? I bet there is a lot of Indian batsmen with better records than him. He became a maggi man towards the end.

  • amit on August 14, 2013, 10:00 GMT

    @Prabhakar Muthukrishnan and Grant King. Your arguments are more old and tired than my great grandma, please change the record. Agreed Sachin had other fine batsman to help him, but are you honestly saying that except for Amla and de Villiers, Kallis has had none? How about Cullinan, Kirsten, Gibbs, Hudson, Smith, Cronje and there have been a few more. They are all batsman who had fine records and most would get into any side in the world. Maybe you guys have only been watching cricket the last few years which is why you are not aware of this. Also one thing Kallis had in his favour is the fine bowlers SA have always had, Donald, Pollock, Schultz for a while was one of the nastiest around, Ntini, Steyn, Morkel, Phillander. Care to mention some world class Indian bowlers?? Same goes for one of the other great batsman, Lara. He also had some of the greatest fast bowlers in his side and very good/great batsman. Hooper, Chanderpaul, Adams, Gayle, Sarwan, even the great Haynes for a contd..

  • greig on August 14, 2013, 9:07 GMT

    Lets end this debate quickly between Sachin and Kallis.

    Imagine you are at school again and 22 players are standing in a group. You are one of the two captains picked from this group of players. As a captain you have to pick and choose your team against the other captain. There are 20 players in the group left to choose from. Sachin and Kallis are in this group and can be picked. Fate smiles on you and you get to pick first. Who do you choose? The player with 56 average, 300 test wickets and 200 catches (who batted on the toughest pitches with no batting support until 3 yrs ago) or the player with 53 average....(who played on flat tracks and supported by many other classy players - Dravid, VVS, Sehwag, etc)

    Case closed. Kallis is the greatest Cricketer to have every lived.