Cricketers pick their favourites

'Best allrounder after Sobers'

Part nine: Jacques Kallis was a batsman Wasim Akram dismissed only once in his career (00:00)

Producer: Ranjit Shinde

June 19, 2012


Jacques Kallis

'Best allrounder after Sobers'

June 19, 2012

Jacques Kallis has a bat in the nets, Dunedin, March 6, 2012
Jacques Kallis' discipline in the nets is a lesson for young cricketers © Getty Images

Very calm player, excellent technique, and he was special. I was quick in 1996-1997 when I played against him. I think I haven't got him out in Test cricket, and I think I have got him out in one-day cricket only once - I remember that it was an inside edge onto the stumps and that was in East London. It means that that guy is one of the greats.

Not a big front-foot player to start off with, but he used to shuffle. And his reflexes were incredible. He used to shuffle a bit and then go and play, and I thought, "With this technique I will get him out every time." But obviously the record shows that I did not get him out. He used to play straight - everything straight, nothing across, just straight, and he used to frustrate us. Great concentration levels. He can bat the whole day.

He plays for the Kolkata Knight Riders and I have had the opportunity to work with him. He is a thorough professional. That's why I want youngsters to see what he does - he has got 40-odd hundreds, he has got runs in Test cricket, he has got 200 wickets in Test cricket, one-day cricket, name it. He has got a hundred catches. Every record you name, he has got. He comes to the nets, he does his batting properly for half an hour, he does his bowling properly for half an hour, then he goes for his fielding and then he goes for his slip catches. That's why he is one of the greats.

As for his technique, I found him very difficult to bowl to. I think Waqar got him out quite a few times. I couldn't. He was too good for me. I knew as a bowler that I was nippy, I could bowl quick, but I never troubled him. He had too much time. He was very natural as a batsman. He knew he had time and he worked on it all the time, and that's why he has got over 40 hundreds in Test cricket. Incredible.

I used to enjoy bowling at right-handers, and eventually I got used to both right-handers and left-handers. As a youngster you get a bit tense when you have a left-hand and right-hand combination. But I enjoyed bowling at right-handers.

Coming back to the great Jacques Kallis, he was an exceptional player, exceptional all-round cricketer. I reckon, after Sir Garfield Sobers, if there is any allrounder then it has to be Kallis. If you see his record, if you see his performance, he has been consistent for the last 15-16 years. He still is, and he is only 34 [36].

I used to bowl in the nets for Kolkata Knight Riders. I used to swing the ball, troubled other batsmen, but not him, again. Obviously I had no pace, but again he used the same technique - shuffle and play straight, shuffle, wait 60% on the front foot, and then play straight. That's what he does - he makes batting very simple, very compact. Nothing is complicated about his batting.

Posted by   on (June 19, 2012, 11:52 GMT)

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