South Africa in England 2012 July 25, 2012

Kallis underappreciated no longer

Another big hundred, important wickets and safe hands - Jacques Kallis is finally getting some of the credit he deserves
100

Jacques Kallis had waited 143 Test matches and 15 years to score his first double hundred. It was thought of as the only thing he could not do. When it eventually came, against India in Centurion at the end of 2010, most expected a flood of twin tons to follow. They were not far wrong.

The second was scored just seven matches later and the third was not far off coming up on Sunday at The Oval. Had it done so, it would have been Kallis' third double in 10 Test matches.

With South Africa leading by 252, an advantage that would cushion them but could still be plumped, and the England attack meandering, there did not seem to be a reason Kallis would not get there. Unexpectedly, he was denied, left on 182. Graeme Smith made a positive declaration after consulting with Kallis, who gave his blessing that he would sacrifice an individual accolade for the team goal.

A day later, Kallis and Gary Kirsten, South Africa's coach, were tasked with the post-match media session after an emphatic win. Kallis was asked about the current South Africa bowling attack and how he ranked them compared with packs of the past.

"In terms of variations, it's right up there, as good as we've had," he said. "We've got Vernon who puts the batsmen under pressure, we've got Dale Steyn's pace and swing, we've got Morne with his bounce and we've got Immi [Imran Tahir] as a legspinner, which we haven't had for a long time, to add attacking value, so we've got a nice balance."

Kallis ended his assessment there but Kirsten interrupted him. "And then we've also got some guy who has taken 280-odd Test wickets, I can't think of his name," the coach said, nudging Kallis in jest. Kallis only smiled.

As one of the most under-appreciated players of his generation, he is used to being forgotten about when greats of the game are discussed. Occasionally a debate will spark that compares Kallis with Garfield Sobers, Ian Botham or Imran Khan and none is clear favourite for the 'greatest allrounder' tag. Even if there was a conclusion, Kallis wouldn't care to know. He maintains that comparisons over different eras are irrelevant because "we play so much cricket these days", and statistics may only mean something to him when he retires.

Had he said something like that a few years ago, he may not have been believed because he was seen as man who played for himself before others. At the 2007 World Cup in particular, Kallis did all he could to portray himself as that type of person. He single-handedly turned the speeding car of a chase against Australia in the group stages into one whose engine had stalled.

Perhaps it was performances like those that kept Kallis from earning the praise he deserved but in recent years the stodginess has smoothed. Evidence of that can be gleaned from something as simple as Kallis' strike rate. In five of the last six years, he has managed to keep it over 50 in Test cricket, having been a steady lower 40s before that. Included in that period has been his fastest century.

There is an interesting correlation between the time when Kallis started scoring quicker and his contribution to South Africa wins. Ten of his 19 hundreds scored since June 2006 have been in winning causes; before that, 11 out of 24 hundred contributed to victories. His new-found vitality in run-scoring has extended as far as earning him a recall to South Africa's T20 squad, from which he was dropped in 2010.

Along with his batting, Kallis has always made a telling but often overlooked contribution with the ball. To say he was quicker when he was younger, would be incorrect. He remains able to bowl at around 145kph, especially as his workload has been steadily decreased. While he once had to shoulder the considerable burden of being a wicket-taker, he now acts as a balancer to the other attacking options around him.

That is not to be mistaken for saying Kallis is the holding bowler. He is the multi-faceted one. At times, he is called on to give the others a break and contain, at others as the reserve armoury, to come out and strike when no-one else and usually it works. At The Oval, it was Kallis who made the crucial breakthrough late on the first day when he removed Kevin Pietersen with a bouncer - one of the few short balls South Africa bowled on a sluggish track that day.

Had England's premier batsmen survived into the next morning, the match may have played out in completely different fashion. But Kallis changed the course of that and although he does not need that to recognised as a turning point, it ended up being one of the most significant.

Ian Bell acknowledged it when he said: "Kallis on day one was important, when the ball swings he is as good as anyone in the world." James Anderson paid homage to him in the London Evening Standard, saying Kallis "gives great balance to their team as a fourth seamer and he is one of the greatest batsmen there has ever been but somehow doesn't quite get the credit for it."

That has been the story of Kallis' career for as long as it has lasted. For more than ten years, from 2000 to late 2011, he was ranked the top allrounder in Test cricket. He lost that status to Shakib Al Hasan a few months ago and shrugged it off as no big deal. Today, Kallis regained that spot.

Many will say rightfully so, after he conquered the one territory he had not been able to reach in the past. A century, an incisive showing with the ball and his usual safe hands in the slips have shown why Kallis' all-round abilities are vital to South Africa's quest to reach No.1 in England.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • test_cricket_is_real_cricket on July 28, 2012, 11:22 GMT

    kallis is the greatest amongst mortals... he is the pinnacle that any player can hope to achieve with talent and hard work... to achieve a level beyond that, you have to be a 'genius'... bradman, tendulkar, lara, warne, akram, richards, sobers

  • anton1234 on July 27, 2012, 17:45 GMT

    Kallis - Hugely consistent with bat and a highly effective bowler. One of the few truly great allrounders the world has ever seen. The other is Sobers. I don't think Sobers would have been as good as Kallis (though only small difference between the two). Not always great on the eye

    Sobers - similar to Kallis but more exciting to watch.

    Gilchrist - changed the role of the wicket-batsmen forever by taking it to the next level with his brilliant cricket and quite often brutal too. My favourite alltime cricketr actually

  • anton1234 on July 27, 2012, 17:33 GMT

    My views on some of the players.

    Tendulkar - very consistent since he made his debut hence he has managed to keep his average around 55 throughout his career. However, he has not scored when it matters. He has often failed in the 4th innings of a test match especially when Indian chasing runs. He ois overappreciated by Indians and some fo that has spilled into the commentary boxes and press journalism in other parts of the world. His cricket is for the purist, but his style wouldn't win new fans outside Subcontinent.

    Lara - A genius with the bat but not super consistent. Great to watch in his heyday. Attractive to watch even for those new to test cricket.

    Viv Richards - similar to Lara in everyway. More butal but slightly less stylish.

    Botham - great bowler, but his batting was overrated greatly. He was more a batter to change the course of a game, but he was never consistent.

    Imran Khan - similar to Botham but more consistent but also less brutal with bat.

  • Meety on July 27, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    @SamRoy - Sobers was great, but I think you'll find the test pitches were covered by the time he started playing.

  • Nuxxy on July 26, 2012, 21:16 GMT

    @Harmony111: Please read comments properly first. My figures were straight from StatsGuru. I think you missed the point of my comment. It was comparing contemporary batsmen by their batting averages *in South Africa*. Statistically, since Kallis' debut, South Africa has the lowest batting average of all test playing nations. It is the most difficult place in the world for a batsman to prosper, and yet prosper Kallis has. It also helps explain his lower strike rate and lack of double hundreds till recently.

  • champ1388 on July 26, 2012, 16:59 GMT

    Sachin is federer, Kallis is Nadal, Bradman is Rod laver, Sobers is Pete Samparas and Ponting is Agassi

  • kaidranzer on July 26, 2012, 16:50 GMT

    Kallis is a great batsman but definitely not the best. He has been criticized earlier for his lack of ability to time his innings in ODIs and the ability to counter-attack and dominate in Tests. Tendulkar, Ponting and Lara are way ahead in that regard. Even Dravid seems to be a bit behind in that regard. But I totally agree that Kallis, like Dravid, has been under-appreciated in his years of pomp, which is a bit sad considering he is one of the all-time greats.

  • on July 26, 2012, 16:32 GMT

    Statistics alone do make for greatest comparisons. Don Bradman only played cricket in two countries. How would have fared in the subcontinent? Didn't he shy away from short pitch bowling? Is Ken Barrington a greater batsman tan Viv because his average is higher? In a team sport one's contribution to the team's ability to win or save matches is the overall criteria for greatness that's why Viv, Sobers and Lara are held in high esteem compared to the likes of Kallis. For the record Kallis is a great cricketer and very humble of his achievements but certainly not a genius like Sobers. A further argument why Sobers is greatest is that he played tremendous bowling without the benefit of a helmet. I'm not sure the modern players can play without the comfort level of the helmet

  • QingdaoXI on July 26, 2012, 16:23 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar, Brain Lara, Jacques Kallis, Rahul Dravid, Ricky Ponting and Shivnaraine Chanderpaul all are great batsmen of modern era and all deserved equal respect. Sangakkara is also a good player as he has good average but he heavily scores in Asia and out side Asia he has very few great Innings and to end in this list of batsmen i hope he will play next 4 years of test matches with equal grit and determination outside subcontinent as he plays in Asia. In next generation Batsmen Amla is at top with Cook, Clarke, devillers and Trott and Azhar Ali joining them soon. I am hoping Willamson, Kohli, Chandimal, Pujara, Shafiq,Little Bravo, Rahane, Thrimanne, Rohit, Karunaratne, Rajapakse to compet for next in line. Australia have there cupboard empty and South Africa have a players they can play for next 7-8 years. But Australia is one on my Favourite team i hope some2-3 batsmen will emerge soon in next 2-3 years who will take the team again at the same level of last decade.

  • siddhartha87 on July 26, 2012, 16:11 GMT

    Kallis is best test batsman of modern era for sure!!!

  • test_cricket_is_real_cricket on July 28, 2012, 11:22 GMT

    kallis is the greatest amongst mortals... he is the pinnacle that any player can hope to achieve with talent and hard work... to achieve a level beyond that, you have to be a 'genius'... bradman, tendulkar, lara, warne, akram, richards, sobers

  • anton1234 on July 27, 2012, 17:45 GMT

    Kallis - Hugely consistent with bat and a highly effective bowler. One of the few truly great allrounders the world has ever seen. The other is Sobers. I don't think Sobers would have been as good as Kallis (though only small difference between the two). Not always great on the eye

    Sobers - similar to Kallis but more exciting to watch.

    Gilchrist - changed the role of the wicket-batsmen forever by taking it to the next level with his brilliant cricket and quite often brutal too. My favourite alltime cricketr actually

  • anton1234 on July 27, 2012, 17:33 GMT

    My views on some of the players.

    Tendulkar - very consistent since he made his debut hence he has managed to keep his average around 55 throughout his career. However, he has not scored when it matters. He has often failed in the 4th innings of a test match especially when Indian chasing runs. He ois overappreciated by Indians and some fo that has spilled into the commentary boxes and press journalism in other parts of the world. His cricket is for the purist, but his style wouldn't win new fans outside Subcontinent.

    Lara - A genius with the bat but not super consistent. Great to watch in his heyday. Attractive to watch even for those new to test cricket.

    Viv Richards - similar to Lara in everyway. More butal but slightly less stylish.

    Botham - great bowler, but his batting was overrated greatly. He was more a batter to change the course of a game, but he was never consistent.

    Imran Khan - similar to Botham but more consistent but also less brutal with bat.

  • Meety on July 27, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    @SamRoy - Sobers was great, but I think you'll find the test pitches were covered by the time he started playing.

  • Nuxxy on July 26, 2012, 21:16 GMT

    @Harmony111: Please read comments properly first. My figures were straight from StatsGuru. I think you missed the point of my comment. It was comparing contemporary batsmen by their batting averages *in South Africa*. Statistically, since Kallis' debut, South Africa has the lowest batting average of all test playing nations. It is the most difficult place in the world for a batsman to prosper, and yet prosper Kallis has. It also helps explain his lower strike rate and lack of double hundreds till recently.

  • champ1388 on July 26, 2012, 16:59 GMT

    Sachin is federer, Kallis is Nadal, Bradman is Rod laver, Sobers is Pete Samparas and Ponting is Agassi

  • kaidranzer on July 26, 2012, 16:50 GMT

    Kallis is a great batsman but definitely not the best. He has been criticized earlier for his lack of ability to time his innings in ODIs and the ability to counter-attack and dominate in Tests. Tendulkar, Ponting and Lara are way ahead in that regard. Even Dravid seems to be a bit behind in that regard. But I totally agree that Kallis, like Dravid, has been under-appreciated in his years of pomp, which is a bit sad considering he is one of the all-time greats.

  • on July 26, 2012, 16:32 GMT

    Statistics alone do make for greatest comparisons. Don Bradman only played cricket in two countries. How would have fared in the subcontinent? Didn't he shy away from short pitch bowling? Is Ken Barrington a greater batsman tan Viv because his average is higher? In a team sport one's contribution to the team's ability to win or save matches is the overall criteria for greatness that's why Viv, Sobers and Lara are held in high esteem compared to the likes of Kallis. For the record Kallis is a great cricketer and very humble of his achievements but certainly not a genius like Sobers. A further argument why Sobers is greatest is that he played tremendous bowling without the benefit of a helmet. I'm not sure the modern players can play without the comfort level of the helmet

  • QingdaoXI on July 26, 2012, 16:23 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar, Brain Lara, Jacques Kallis, Rahul Dravid, Ricky Ponting and Shivnaraine Chanderpaul all are great batsmen of modern era and all deserved equal respect. Sangakkara is also a good player as he has good average but he heavily scores in Asia and out side Asia he has very few great Innings and to end in this list of batsmen i hope he will play next 4 years of test matches with equal grit and determination outside subcontinent as he plays in Asia. In next generation Batsmen Amla is at top with Cook, Clarke, devillers and Trott and Azhar Ali joining them soon. I am hoping Willamson, Kohli, Chandimal, Pujara, Shafiq,Little Bravo, Rahane, Thrimanne, Rohit, Karunaratne, Rajapakse to compet for next in line. Australia have there cupboard empty and South Africa have a players they can play for next 7-8 years. But Australia is one on my Favourite team i hope some2-3 batsmen will emerge soon in next 2-3 years who will take the team again at the same level of last decade.

  • siddhartha87 on July 26, 2012, 16:11 GMT

    Kallis is best test batsman of modern era for sure!!!

  • SamRoy on July 26, 2012, 16:11 GMT

    These silly comments!!! Of course we know Kallis is the greatest cricketer in the last 20 odd years. But please don't compare Kallis with Sobers though! That man was a genius with both bat and ball. And he batted on uncovered pitches without a helmet. And bowled chinaman and googly, left-arm orthodox as well as medium pace.

  • tarahb123 on July 26, 2012, 16:08 GMT

    remember kallis slow innings against Pakistan in T20 world cup semifinal that cost them the chance to go to final

  • test_cricket_is_real_cricket on July 26, 2012, 15:51 GMT

    without a doubt, the second best all rounder ever...and definitely is "one of the greatest" in the modern day to have played the game... better than ricky, but lesser than dravid, lara or tendulkar... dont forget, he and ricky have played for almost 60% of their career with the comfort of a world-class bowling attack and a decent enough batting line up... lara, dravid, and sachin have had the extra pressure playing with a bowling attack and a wobbly top 6 for a large part of their career...

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 26, 2012, 15:28 GMT

    I think Kallis is very underappreciated sometimes. When Cricinfo was doing that thing for selecting 'Teams of each country' and 'Team of the world', Kallis was not even considered as an all-rounder, but merely just a class-batsman. I'm sorry, but when this guy is fit, I would pick him in any team for (a) his batting alone; (b) his bowling alone; (c) his fielding alone; (d) combination of any two; (e) combination of all three.

  • anton1234 on July 26, 2012, 14:36 GMT

    Just to make another point I would definately have Kallis ahead of Sobers if I had to choose on bowling alone. I would definately have Imran Khan, keith Miller and Ian Botham ahead of Kallis if I had to choose one in the bowling, but Kallis ahead of each one of them on batting. Overralll, though, I would pick Kallis ahead all four as an allrounder. Both Botham and Imran Khan were superb fast bowlers, but being spearheads for their teams, they also picked up a lot of tailenders which in their day were rather cheap wickets whereas Kallis doesn't get to bowl much at the tailend, not to mention these days most tailenders are no mugs with the bat.

  • BellCurve on July 26, 2012, 14:32 GMT

    Bradman is Federer, Kallis is Nadal, Sobers is Djokovic and Tendulkar is Murray.

  • simonviller on July 26, 2012, 14:31 GMT

    There is a reason why Sir Garfield Sobers is used as the ultimate comparison for all-rounders . No one may ever compare to him in our lifetime ,because of the things he has done and the way in which he did them . To those of you who were unfortunate to see him in his glory ,you don't know what you have missed out on . Check out the cricketing archives forthe necessary footage that's all you can do .Who else in the modern game , or even before his time ,has done the following in test cricket with suck sucess ;- Bat at any position / open the new ball/ bowl spin left arm ortordox / wrist spin / field in any position takin catches at blinding speed ? The guy batted like he was using a tooth pick ,the way he could twirl that bat in his hand . Played every shot in the book with amazing power . The best hooker I ever saw . A ''True entertainer'' . And that's why they say he is the greatest .

  • Shabney on July 26, 2012, 14:03 GMT

    Being a Sri Lankan, and a great admirer and follower of Sri Lankan cricket. I have always admired Kallis for his natural gift in being able to bowl, bat and field at the highest level. I don't think you can say that Kallis is a better batsmen than a bowler or the other way around. I am also of the understanding that he being a senior is always in the forefront even at the practice session showing the younger generation of him commitment to the team & country. Kallis is no doubt one of the or could even be told to be THE BEST all-rounder of all time.

  • on July 26, 2012, 13:26 GMT

    Kallis has thins brilliant ability to adjust to any format quickly, which very few cricketers have at present. Be it Test, ODI's or T20's, Kallis has contributed in each and every format with the bat and the ball. Hats off to this brilliant cricketer.

  • on July 26, 2012, 13:19 GMT

    Whatever the comparison arguments greatness in ANY sport but especially this multi-faceted one whether you like or agree with it or not is defined by statistics so let's examine his figures. Currently third highest all time Test, ODI, and T20I aggregate of 24,642 @ 50.47... the only man to with a combined average of 50 or more across all three formats 12,500 test runs @ 57.61 with 43 hundreds - the current best modern day average - 11,498 ODI runs @ 45.26...easily the best average of anyone with more than 10,000...AND for someone with an apparently inferior strike rate of only 113.00!! and in a format that doesn't really suit his game; 3,095 T20 runs with 26 fifties at an average of almost 35.00 which is appreciably better than most batting specialists in the shortest form of the game. Never mind the equally impressive bowling stas this is just the BATTING so for anyone to deny that he is NOT the greatest all rounder of all time is frankly a joke!

  • Sello_JHK on July 26, 2012, 13:11 GMT

    Thanx to media for critisizing Kallis earlier now he is ruthless in his game. Scoring 100 in pain. 50 + on 98 occassions bettered by Sachin, Ricky and Rahul. He is a master piece. Point of correction to one of Ponting, Lara, Tendulkar, Dravid all average above 50 with Lara being the lowest. Chanderpaul with his records average little over 50 and Sangakkara has monstorous average of 56 closer to The King the last time I checked and Kallis is better with 50s 55 and 100s 43 compared to 30 and 39, its jst that when Sangakkara scores, he scores big. If he wasnt denied by declarations how may hundreds would he got under his belt I salute all fellows of the game. Not for favouritism but Jacques you are my hero

  • landl47 on July 26, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    I don't think Kallis is under-appreciated. You only have to look at this thread to see that most people understand what a great player he is. His only deficiency, in an occupation which is devoted to entertainment, is that he's not very entertaining. He's efficient rather than showy. It's like comparing a diesel locomotive to a steam engine. The diesel is more efficient (which is why diesels replaced steam), but it doesn't have the visual appeal of the steam engine. If you were picking a team to win games, Kallis would be one of the first selected. If you were deciding whether to go and watch a game, Kallis wouldn't be the magnet that drew you to the ground. To give a modern comparison, I never missed an opportunity to watch Shane Warne bowl. I've never thought 'Kallis will be batting, mustn't miss that'.

  • toowkd4u on July 26, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    Truly one of the greatest sportsmen to grace the game. Has always been underrated. Probably a greater batsman than the other modern greats of the game - Tendulkar, Lara, Dravid and Ponting. As an all-rounder, he is on par with the great Sobers. I have not seen sobers play but have heard superlatives from those who have. He is undoubtedly better than Imran Khan, Kapil Dev, Ian Botham. The stats speak for themselves. A dour and uncharismatic personality have hidden from the mass of undiscerning populace that profess to be true connoisseurs of the game the Gem that he is.

  • on July 26, 2012, 12:53 GMT

    His batting stats are similar to Tendulkar and his bowling stats are similar to Z Khan . SA have 2 players in one position. He is arguably the greatest Cricketer ever. Sobers was great but he didn't have the distraction of multiple formats or media hype . So I don't think anyone else can come close statistically. Only thing is he doesn't have a lot of eye catching performances with bad or ball. But this is a person who SA needs, a silent guardian, a watchful protector. (;) that was half in jest and half in solemnity)

  • BellCurve on July 26, 2012, 12:36 GMT

    @CduPlessis - You are referring to Ashley Mallett's article. Mallett's MO is to promote forgotten Aussie "greats". A few weeks ago he was claiming that Jeff Thompson bowled between 170 and 175 kmh. Then shortly thereafter he claimed that Neil Harvey would have averaged 80 if he played today. These sorts of comments are clearly meant to be tongue-in-cheek. I am sure that in his heart of hearts Mallett recognises that Kallis is the greatest all-rounder of them all.

  • BigDataIsAHoax on July 26, 2012, 12:35 GMT

    Kallis. A True Giant of the game. He and the now retired Dravid are the pinnacle of batsmanship and test cricket. Best all rounder of all time. Some may say Gary Sobers. But, Kallis is the #1!!

  • unbiasedfan on July 26, 2012, 12:31 GMT

    To substantiate my earlier message as to Kallis is the greatest, I did an unscientific but I think reasonably acceptable calculation - if one converts Kallis's 280 odd test wickets into runs (4 wickets equals to 100 runs - no science behind this other than a general feel obtained over years of watching the game) translates into around 7000 runs. Add this to the 12500 runs he has scored it adds up to a staggering 19500 runs. Undoubtedly (in my mind at least) the Greatest Cricketer of all time.

  • unbiasedfan on July 26, 2012, 12:05 GMT

    Kallis is the GOAT (greatest of all time) whether as an allrounder or pure batsman - he is better than Lara, Ponting and yes Sachin Tendulkar. Adding luster to his greatness is his humility.

  • Harmony111 on July 26, 2012, 12:03 GMT

    @Nuxxy: I don't say that Kallis is an ordinary player but you don't need to undermine other players to prop up Kallis. I want to tell you that you are factually wrong in your comment. From the time Kallis made his test debut, Sachin averages 56.22. Sachin has played fewer tests than Kallis and has scored more runs than him. I don't know what were you thinking when you said about others including Sachin that non of them average more than 47. I DO NOT want to start another Sachin-centric war here but just want to correct you there. In fact, except Lara, all the other players you named made their debuts around the same time as Kallis did and all of them avg 50+. So logically, non of them can avg 47 by any means. Please check your facts before you post them. And yes I do believe Kallis is one of the greatest all rounders of all times and there is not much between Sobers and him. But Kallis purely as a batsman or a bowler is not quite like other greats.

  • on July 26, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    UnderAppreciated!!! Come up with a quiz on the best Batsman,Bowler,Slip Catching and kallis will be there. He is lot appreciated ad respected. Non controversial, gentleman, Conventional cricketer with such good technique.He is a treat to watch. South Africa indeed play as 12 men side when the "Legend" Kallis is playing.

  • Imthiyaz_Haniffa on July 26, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    A greates allrounder of current cricket era....who performs in every fromat of the game........... NO comparisons for required for a palyer of this calibber.

  • anton1234 on July 26, 2012, 11:43 GMT

    Also, to make another point. I seriously cant believe people compare Botham with Kallis. Sure Botham was a superb fast bowler, but in relaity, he was really a fast bowler who could bat a bit. He wasn't an out and out allrounder. Apart from His Ashes heroics and a fe other stupendous innings, his batting was actually quite average. If you take way that Ashes series and you have a test batting average that would in fact be very average.

    Look at Flintoff. Take away his Ashes heroics and one or two other series performances and you ahve some who is good but not exceptional by any means.

    Kallis has been exceptional ever since he made his debut in 1997. If you look at SA, they have been the second best team in that time consistently behind Australia and a very big part of that has been down to Kallis' runs, but also playing an unassuming yet consistent role with the ball. Swinging the ball in the high 80s, sometimes topping the 90 MPH mark. What more could you want!!

  • on July 26, 2012, 11:43 GMT

    Statistically greatest cricketer ever.

  • anton1234 on July 26, 2012, 11:32 GMT

    When people started complaining about his strike rate in test and ODI cricket, he upped it considerably over the last 5/6 years and still averages the same. Faster scoring hasn't dented his runs scoring.

    He is also right up there in 20-20 cricket with an average of 35 (which is exceptional for that form of the game). It does not matter which form of the game he plays, he will staill average right up there in the top 2 or 3. That's how good he is.

    Now add all the wickets and catches in all forms of the game and I think we have, in my opinion, the top 3 greatest cricketers of all time along with Bradman and Sobers.

    I think Mark Nicholas suggested the same in commentary on Channel 5.

    He is also a a really big hitter when need be. I remember him hitting one of the biggest sixes ever in the 1999 world cup at Edgbaston. Shame they didn't measure distances in those days. He has hit some enormous sixes in the IPL.

  • ravikini on July 26, 2012, 11:08 GMT

    Well said Geroge Matt and Nuxxy. I always wondered about his fitness level. Amazing. While the like of KP are retiring from one form of cricket or other citing work load.....here is a guy who still plays in all fromats of the game including IPL. Amazing is the only word that comes to my mind whenever I think of him.

  • on July 26, 2012, 11:02 GMT

    All respect to Sir Garry Sobers BUT Jacques Kallis is the greatest all rounder to grace the game. Stats do not lie. Comparing Kallis last 93 Tests to Sobers 93 Tests makes for very interesting reading. Batting record : Kallis 93 Tests - 158innings..Sobers 93 Tests - 160 innings. Kallis 8590 runs..Sobers 8032 runs. Kallis ave 64.10..Sobers 57.78. Kallis 34 100s..Sobers 27 100s. Kallis 33 50s..Sobers 30 50s. Even fielding over 93 Tests Kallis 129..Sobers 109. On the bowling front they both bowled in 159 innings. Sobers ave 34.03..Kallis 34.15. Sobers 235 wickets..Kallis 161 wickets. This brings up an interesting point with Sobers seemingly more effective with the ball. Sobers strike rate was 91.9 compared to Kallis's strike rate of 69. Kallis having only bowled 1854.1 overs during this period compared to Sobers having bowled 3599.8 overs meaning that if Kallis had bowled a similar number of overs striking @ 69 he would of had in excess of 300 wickets during this period. KING KALLIS!!

  • on July 26, 2012, 10:39 GMT

    ........The Greatest..............

  • on July 26, 2012, 10:26 GMT

    Well to praise the man i'd suggest a movie to be made on this man's cricketing career and should be titled "WE WON"...those of you who share my perspective will understand the title of the movie...and will also come to respect the glowing stats of Mr. Kallis

  • on July 26, 2012, 10:25 GMT

    He is undoubtedly the BEST cricketer of modern era. A 2 down batsmen ... Fast bowler (I really mean fast here) an amazing slip catcher and out-field fielder with strong throwing arms ... I am honored that I share my birthday with him :D

    He is what Modern Cricket needs to survive ....

  • on July 26, 2012, 10:19 GMT

    Kallis is irrefutably the greatest cricketer to have played the game. Modesty personified, this reticent cricketer never got the accolades that he deserves. He can be favourably compared with the greatest batsmen, he is a terrific slip catcher and he is a more potent fast bowler than the present crop of Indian bowlers barring Zaheer Khan.

  • Marktc on July 26, 2012, 10:11 GMT

    I do not think it would be fair to any player to make comparisons from era to era. The playing conditions,the equipment, the fields and the game has changed. Kallis played more than Sobers. One could argue that is Sobers played as many games as Kallis, his average may be lower. Point is we will never know. We should rather celebrate the greats and stop these silly comparisons. Kallis is a legend..

  • NP_NY on July 26, 2012, 10:04 GMT

    Peerless and irreplaceable !

  • Shuaib_A on July 26, 2012, 9:27 GMT

    did any one notice that Kallis already has 43 Centuries! in approx 2 years he will definately reach Tendulkars 50 test centuries! i remember the comments when Tendulkar reached that milestone that no one will reach it, low and behold we have king Kallis on the doorstep!

  • CduPlessis on July 26, 2012, 9:26 GMT

    A couple of weeks ago, an old Aus journalist made a list of the 5 top allrounders of all time which was posted on this website. The list was something like Sobers, Miller, Khan, Dev and Botham if I remember correctly. He also made an additional list of nearly there's which included Hadlee, Flintoff, Vettori and such quality allrounders. No mention of the great S Pollock, who on stats, is just about as good Botham, Hadlee and Khan and Kapil. But not once was the name J Kallis mentioned, in an article about the best allrounders ever, posted on this website, which is just about the most informed source available on cricket. Now tell me Kallis isn't underrated when the editors of cricinfo doesn't even spot a mistake like that. Sobers played in a bowling friendly time, hence his batting is better, Kallis played in a batting friendly time, hence his bowling is better. The discussion about the greatest is Kallis or Sobers, nobody else. The greatest is a personal opinion for each of us!

  • on July 26, 2012, 9:20 GMT

    kallis is a legend..if he had been playing for india and putting up these sort of performances he would have been the undisputed God of cricket and people would not have even compared tendulkar with him....if he had been playing for australia he would have been labelled the best player after bradman...if he had been playing for england he would have been named the greatest cricketer ever ...and would have written 6 biographies by now lolzz

  • Nuxxy on July 26, 2012, 9:17 GMT

    This is why Firdose wrote the article. To complain about his scoring rate *is* to under-appreciate him.

    Look at the record for top order batsmen since Kallis' first test in 1995: South Africa has the lowest average score, 34. Look at the average of some of the greats of that era in SA: Ponting, Dravid, Tendulkar, Sangakkara, Lara...none of them average over 47. Now look at Kallis' average: over 58. He has scored more than half his career runs in the place that is statistically the most difficult place in the world to bat in.

    His bowling figure are amazing considering he almost never bowled new ball, or even first change. He was called in when the batsmen were set and the other bowlers needed a break. He would have over 400 if he had the bowl regularly, though his batting would likely have suffered if he had.

    The only negative to him was that he was never looked dashing.

  • StaalBurgher on July 26, 2012, 9:14 GMT

    For those of you saying Kallis has never been under appreciated well we are definitely not talking just about cricket purists here. We are obviously talking about general celebrity status that is heaped on people like Sachin or Botham/Flintoff. As others have said if Kallis was English or Indian he would be hyped constantly as the greatest player to grace a cricket field. I agree that it is rather pointless to compare players from different eras, but plenty of Kallis nay-sayers do exactly that. And since they do bring up this comparison statistically Kallis does pip Sobers, not by much, but he does slightly. In cricket stats IS 90% of the story, especially for allrounders. It doesn't matter whether Sobers bowled fast AND/OR spin if it didn't give him more wickets. It doesn't matter if batting was more difficult/easier in one era or not because that is counterbalanced by the bowling results - that is only valid when comparing to non-allrounder batsmen like Richards to Ponting.

  • Jabulani on July 26, 2012, 9:09 GMT

    @sk12 - you have a short memory then. Kallis carried SA's batting for at least 2-3 years in the post Hansie years.

  • RandyOZ on July 26, 2012, 8:59 GMT

    Embarassment for Jaques that he is compared to the lowly Botham. Kallis' despite some claiming to have a poor record in England, is still better than Botham in England.

  • Sanjiyan on July 26, 2012, 8:45 GMT

    Years ago when i was still in school we had an absolutely fantastic player in our A team. This kid could bowl and bat like no other. When i went to highschool this kid played 1 match for his agegroup then was promptly put into the first school side, where he broke every record the school had, batting and bowling. On a special invite he went to the national cricket week for youthes, where some of the new national players might be picked. A week later our 'hero' came back as a mortal. That week he met 2 future juggernauts in SA cricket, then a young Shauwn Pollock and a certain Jacques Kallis. He kept playing cricket, but in the back of his mind he knew he would never make the national side. How i envy him, meeting those 2 stalwarts of SA cricket at that age. Kallis, take a bow you are to SA the greatest we have ever had. Thank you

  • sirNathe on July 26, 2012, 8:30 GMT

    Anyone with half a cricket brain has not underappreciated Kallis since he came on the test scene. A top class batsmen without question who can also be a genuine third seamer has given South Africa a 12 man side for the whole of his career. Small wonder they have been a top side for so long. I'm afraid i am too young to compare him to Sobers but in his case, stats do tell the story and he's been the best at least since the 70s. He may not be as flashy as some more trumpeted alrounders but he consistently produces the goods.

  • DannoTheManno on July 26, 2012, 8:10 GMT

    @Dirk_L - I would choose Kallis over Sobers.. just look at the bowling stats.. they tell a story. He takes more wickets for less runs.. case closed.

  • yoogi on July 26, 2012, 7:39 GMT

    Kallis has the same effect as Chanderpaul or Dravid or Trott. So no quick wickets at that end, be it one day or test. Had it been an Indian side, or even NZ or WI, he would be the main wicket taker, bowling the first over starightawya. He had seen Nitini comes in and goes out, bowled along side so many great SA bowlers and yet keeps going at a pace superior to Indians. Bowls as good as Zak and bats as good as dravid, and gets as much attention as Manoj Prabakar.

  • on July 26, 2012, 7:28 GMT

    @mrgupta. That is because he did not bowl as much as sobers did. Its not rocket science. The more you bowl the more wickets you going to get. I agree Sobers is great and kallis also. He is scoring hundreds more frequently now than ever. Everybody is concerned about his scoring rate in tests. He carried the batting during the 90's and early 2000's. I will rather have him bat for my life than any other batsman. At least i know he is going to be consistant.

  • on July 26, 2012, 7:21 GMT

    I disagree that Sobers is the greatest all-rounder and instead it should be Kallis because Cricket today as compared to Sober's era has become much more difficult to play.Also very few teams played Cricket so I don't understand how he can be the best of all time but rather 'one' of the best.

  • yocasi on July 26, 2012, 7:16 GMT

    Sandy-bangalore, you just made me smile when you said that Sobers didn't have to face his own bowlers. I take it then that Kallis has had to face his own? By the way, let's not forget that Sobers bowled not only pace, but also spin and was a 'pickpocket' at shortleg. Two giants of the game - Sobers & Kallis.

  • Alexk400 on July 26, 2012, 7:16 GMT

    Kallis is ironman of cricket. He takes so much load still standing. he has dravid quality and batting and his bowling is tireless. He is most productive player ever. he gives so much value to the team. Dravid can only do batting , Kallis did both. Kallis is greatest cricketer. Normally all rounders are attacking batsman but Kallis is different type of all rounder. Each has their own flavour. Kapil dev is pure atheltic ability and skill , Imran khan, Ian botham are more brute force. Tendulkar is not a cricketer, he is a energizer bunny in run gathering ( not scoring)..

  • PureTom on July 26, 2012, 7:12 GMT

    Kallis' true worth will only be shown by the huge gaping hole he leaves in the SA team when he retires. Take a look at the ODI team picked to play England and tell me it doesn't look thin, and why? For a very long time he was criticised for batting too slowly, but for a very long time he was the anchor of the SA batting line up. He has more freedom these days with the likes of AB and Amla to share the to share the responsibility of being awesome.

    King Kallis, no doubt!

  • teo. on July 26, 2012, 6:46 GMT

    Kallis is a LEGEND!!!! Many forget that he single handedly carried SA's batting attack for nearly a decade!!!!! Before the last 5 years or so!!! And SA did quite well in that time. I hate to compare, but that was not a burden Sobers had to bare..

  • hst84 on July 26, 2012, 6:43 GMT

    Kallis is an exceptional cricketer. Comparing with greats like Sobers n others doesnt make his talent below standards nor he goes above them. Its all about playing for one's team and shining through a career by scoring, taking wkts n catches. You turn into a great when you play not for oneself but for your team. The objection Kallis faced all his life was dubious and eerie as he had always played for his team whether in the batting dept, bowling or fielding. Playing slow doesnt mean you dont play for the team. The fact of the matter is he took catches when needed, took wickets when he was asked to and scored runs when required and still at this stage, he never takes credit for his performances cause he knows that all his does is for his team not for himself.

  • on July 26, 2012, 6:39 GMT

    Kallis is great. Let us not compare him to anyone. Ofcourse Gary Sobers is the greatest allrounder cricketer ever to be born. No Bradman, No Tendulkar, No Imran , No Dravid, Just no comparison.

  • CoolCharlie on July 26, 2012, 6:32 GMT

    KAllis surely one of the legends....this generation had lots of them... sachin, kallis, lara, mcgrath, akram,warne,murli,dravid, donald, gilchrist den followed by gud ones lyk ponting , inzy, lee, pollock, chanderpaul ,smith ,

  • on July 26, 2012, 6:13 GMT

    His ODI stats aren't as impressive as the Test stats though :P Jks apart, he is easily the best all-rounder I have watched! :)

  • on July 26, 2012, 5:58 GMT

    It is interesting that people are realizing or at least acknowledging him as a great now..I remember he was my fav player since the late 90's...His is just a well-rounded modern cricketer..Great batsman,bowler, athlete and person on and off the field

  • mrgupta on July 26, 2012, 5:49 GMT

    I am not denying that Kallis is one of the greatest player and all-rounder in the history of game. But people who are pulling down Sir Sobers for sake of putting Kallis ahead should realize that Sir Sobers has managed to score 300+ runs and take 20+ wickets in the same series thrice in his career which had less than 100 Tests. Kallis has never managed that. His best effort was in 2000 against WI when he scored 267 runs at 30 avg and took 20 wickets. Sir Sobers had once scored 400+ runs at 70+ avg and took 23 wickets in the series at an avg of 20.5. And he has done this three times. Only Ian Botham matches that stat. Kallis has been mainly a great batsmen who could bowl sometimes and get wickets too. He has taken 1.8 wickets per test compared to 2.52 wickets per test by Sobers.

  • SLDude on July 26, 2012, 5:39 GMT

    i am not going to compair Kallis against Sobers. all I am saying Kallis is a great cricket and a great gentleman ...

  • anoopkul86 on July 26, 2012, 5:33 GMT

    Currently Kallis has the best average in test amongst all the players who have played at least 50 test (57.61)...plus 280+ wickets...He is one of the greatest player in all time..

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on July 26, 2012, 4:20 GMT

    Kallis is under-rated by some fast food fans. He is a Legend par excellence. When I sit to jot down my team in any format, his name would be the first to be listed with all the others listed around him. The Earth revolves around the Sun. Jacques Kallis is the Sun of the Cricket Solar System. Make no mistake about it. It has been a privilege to be born in the same era as this humble soul called Jacques Henry Kallis. Take a bow!

  • sandy_bangalore on July 26, 2012, 4:10 GMT

    Without a shadow of a doubt, the greatest cricketer ever! Everyone talks about his batting and bowling, but he is also an outstanding fielder in any position, and maybe the best slip fielder today. Sobers was great, but didn't have to face his own bowlers. And England and Aus were the only two strong teams at the time, apart from windies. 2nd in the list is probably Imran Khan, followed by the trio of botham/hadlee/kapil. Gilchrist could be in the mix as well

  • satish619chandar on July 26, 2012, 3:53 GMT

    I echo what @KosalaDeSilva mentioned.. A guy who scored as much as Kallis(More than 10k in both tests and ODIs) would be termed as very good batsman.. And a guy who got almost 300 wickets in tests and ODIs should be termed as a very good bowler.. to brand him with all rounders is just a disregard to him and his achievements.. He is certainly one of the best batsman and one of the best bowler all in one combined..

  • acnipuna on July 26, 2012, 3:48 GMT

    Yes Kallis is good allrounder what about sanath jayasuriya he is well above kallis as a allrounder but no one speak about it thats the nature of the world

    hats off to kallis Well done boy

  • Robeli on July 26, 2012, 3:40 GMT

    Kallis was only underappreciated in the eyes of the media, never by the true cricket fan who most of the times understand cricket better than the media. Kallis is greatness!

  • shailendra.raghuwanshi on July 26, 2012, 3:01 GMT

    Kallis is the greatest Allrounder Game has ever Produced ...

  • KiwiResolution87 on July 26, 2012, 2:33 GMT

    Best all-rounder and in my opinion the best player, the game of cricket has ever seen. I dont know of anyone else who has 42 test hundreds and close to 300 test wickets. He is equally good in ODI's and T20's.

  • Nadeem1976 on July 26, 2012, 2:12 GMT

    Kallis is better than Sobers and any other all rounder in history of cricket. His record is better than any one. He is most complete cricketer the world has ever seen.

    Kallis is great and i hope in his career he wins minimum one WC. Let's wish best of luck to most complete cricketer of all time. What a genius.

  • sk12 on July 26, 2012, 1:59 GMT

    Kallis is a very good cricketer, and a lucky one as well. He has almost always had a great team and never really had to 'carry' the team - a bit similar to Ponting (another great cricketer). Not sure why you think he is under appreciated though.

  • kh1902 on July 26, 2012, 0:57 GMT

    All bouquets and no brickbats. He's lucky his failures are never scrutinised but his successes are magnified tenfold. I wonder how many people who comment have actually seen Sobers play. I haven't, so I'm not willing to make a comparison based on stats alone.

  • SLDude on July 25, 2012, 23:37 GMT

    what a great all-rounder as well as what a great gentleman ...

  • featurewriter on July 25, 2012, 23:00 GMT

    Forget who is better. Can you imagine a team that had both Kallis and Sobers in its lineup? Wow! Like most people commenting here, I never had the pleasure of watching Sobers play cricket. I have watched Kallis over the years and continue to be an ardent admirer of his abilities on and off the field. He is a true ambassador for the game. I have no doubt that history will recognise him as the greatest all-rounder in Test cricket. (Because history - at least in sport - has a way of dealing in statistics.) I wouldn't argue with that assessment; but I know others who witnessed Sobers play would. Either way, I get a thrill from watching him play Test cricket. We are nearing the end of what has been a golden age of talent, and our sport will be lesser for it. The past decade or so has seen the likes of Kallis, Tendulkar, Ponting, Dravid, Lara, Hayden, Gilchrist, Warne, McGrath, Waqar, Akram, Pollock, Chanderpaul, Sangakarra, Laxman, Flintoff. The future doesn't seem as bright by comparison.

  • KosalaDeSilva on July 25, 2012, 22:48 GMT

    He is not all-rounder. He is a proper batsman and proper bowler.... Don't have to roundup him.. He is just a great player.

  • on July 25, 2012, 22:14 GMT

    EDIT: That should be 2000 balls more that Sobers bowled in Test cricket NOT 200. apologies.

  • biggyd on July 25, 2012, 22:12 GMT

    true test cricket fans all over the world have always appreciated the artist formally known as baldy

  • on July 25, 2012, 21:33 GMT

    What does this man have to do not only to receive the recognition he deserves and to rewrite the cricket record books as a true great - because even now STATISTICALLY he is quite simply and undeniably the greatest all rounder of the modern (and is the Sobers of our) era. He has the best continuously improving average (57.61) of ANY test batsman currently in the game and could with 60 + finish with only Bradman above him and by the time he retires it is quite possible that his final aggregate will be 14,000-15,000 runs - destined probably to be the 2nd highest of all time - and on current bowling form he should still easily exceed over 300 test wickets and remain the finest fourth seamer in test history. He's been quoted as saying that he might once he's finished look at his career figures with some interest and satisfaction. If and when he does I can tell him that in the all rounder category they will almost certainly never be surpassed.

  • on July 25, 2012, 21:32 GMT

    @Dirk_L: Sobers bowled more (about 200 balls more as things stand now) for less reward in Test cricket. His strike rate of 91 is poor compared to Kallis's 68. GS's average is not bad but JK's is slightly better. People can say what they like about X-factor and "you had to see him play" but I would choose Kallis over Sobers as a bowler based on those stats. Add to that the fact that Kallis invariably gets breakthroughs with the old ball and is adept at cracking partnerships. BUT I don't think it's relevant to make a binary situation regarding the world's best allrounder. Why does it have to be Sobers OR Kallis. If they were contemporaries you could understand that line of thinking but they weren't.

  • on July 25, 2012, 21:07 GMT

    Shakib Hassan and Kallis in the same sentence is very funny...they are not even in the same galaxy as far as their talents and abilities go

  • on July 25, 2012, 20:56 GMT

    Kallis isn't underappreciated. Moonda just presents her (incorrect) opinions as facts which is a cardinal sin of journalism.

  • worstcasegemini on July 25, 2012, 20:53 GMT

    I feel terribly pathetic about the quality of such reports that lack consistency. After just 5 days from the Day1 of the first test, the world has taken a complete U turn. Now why's nobody talking about the Switzerland trip? Wheres Mr.Mark Nicholas who criticized the proteas on their team bonding. I cant imagine the stuffs these half cooked english media men would have written up.

  • Shafaet_001 on July 25, 2012, 20:31 GMT

    Another underrated allrounder is the great shaun pollock. Just look at his records and you'll understand.

  • Jarr30 on July 25, 2012, 20:26 GMT

    I agree with this article somewhat as Kallis is underappreciated as compared to other highly OVERRATED average allrounders like Sakib or Afridi but I would like to disagree with this article in whole,as he is always hailed as one of the GREATS among Tendulkar,Lara,Ponting,Dravid or KP for that matter.

  • sathish008 on July 25, 2012, 19:16 GMT

    Not sure what do you mean Underappreciated. Kalls is always the best and top allrounders cricket has seen, a formidable player in all formats and he always get the name he deserves.

  • djdrastic on July 25, 2012, 19:10 GMT

    @gilbert84 Weird that gilbert , the pommie commentators would not shut up about his record in England and were trying to compare Bresnan and Broad to Kallis all the time.

  • Harmony111 on July 25, 2012, 18:30 GMT

    ERRATUM: Kallis has 2 Double Hundreds and not just 1. I regret the error.

  • Maui3 on July 25, 2012, 18:27 GMT

    gilbert84, that the problem the author is addressing. Kallis is not 'the best allrounder and one of the best batsman'. he is the best ever allrounder (only Sobers is in the same leage. Imran, Botham, Miller, Kapil, etc are a few notches lower) and he is one of the best batsman ever (same league as Tendulkar, Richards. Only below Bradman).

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on July 25, 2012, 18:26 GMT

    If Kallis was from the subcontinent he would have been worshipped...literally, if he was from Eng he would have been a celebrity bigger than Flintoff and KP. He is from a team whose fans and former players hardly seem to fuss about much and his personality is similar. Best since Sobers period.

  • Harmony111 on July 25, 2012, 18:23 GMT

    I agree with Gilbert84. I don't think Kallis has been underappreciated (is that even a word?). If any thing then I would say that while Kallis may be one of the greatest all rounders of all times - a fact acknowledged by 99.94% of the fans, he is not as accomplished a batsman or a bowler as the other legends of the game. Kallis has never been an impact player and is known for his slow scoring rate. Look at it, his SR in tests is 45 and in ODIs it is 72 - this is by no means the way an impact player should play. It can be said for Kallis that he proves to be a very good support player like he did to Amla in the Oval Test. The strongest point about Kallis is that he is a reliable player who is assured to stay at the wicket to either tire the bowlers or to prevent a slide. There is a very good reason why Kallis has only 1 200 in 150+ Tests - he bats too slow to reach 200. Similar points could be made ofr his bowling. Anyways, Kallis is not less liked by any of us. He is #1-2 AR ever.

  • Dirk_L on July 25, 2012, 17:48 GMT

    @gilbert84: Go read the discussion on Rob Steen's article. The Kallis detractors are even now trying to pooh-pooh his achievements.

    "In terms of being a PURE allrounder, (a player being able to have been selected as a specialist bowler or batsmen), Kallis is well behind Sobers, Miller & Khan, all of which could easily been selected as a bowler or batsmen." -- "The comment about figures showing Kallis to be the greatest all-rounder also shows the flaw of dependence on figures. Wonderful player though Kallis is, Sobers still takes the top spot. Their comparative batting strengths are debatable, but for bowling quality, who would choose Kallis over Sobers?"

  • on July 25, 2012, 17:44 GMT

    Nice article. Good to see Kallis getting some love, and this from a kiwi.

  • Unomaas on July 25, 2012, 17:30 GMT

    Kallis appreciation (or lack thereof) is directly linked to the fact that saffer voices do not dictate world cricketing politics! Compared to other countries and their fans, I would say that saffer fans are rather timid when it comes to proclaiming greatness in their cricketing heroes. Take England and India for example...their fans and crickerting legends hype up the players to god like status e.g., overrated English attack, Sachin is THE GREATEST BATSMEN ever, etc. It could also be argued that us saffers are rather modest in our adoration which could be true given our modest boasting on this forum after our stupendous win :P. Whatever the reason, history will treat Jacques Kallis far better that we did. We will only realise his greatest when he leaves a massive whole in the SA middle order :(. Too many saffers like me, he is a living legend and something to be proud of. In most ways, he embodies and defines our test cricket. Obstinate, patience, grit, pace and swing...never say die!

  • funkyandy on July 25, 2012, 17:25 GMT

    gilbert84 has the nail on the head - the media may not have given Kallis as many headlines as KP, Sachin, Ponting etc, but anyone with any cricket sense knows that Kallis is a modern day genius. Probably the greatest ever South African cricketer (he or RG Pollock or BA Richards)... certainly the best since readmission. Even better than Allan Donald - and Im a Warwickshire fan!!

  • gilbert84 on July 25, 2012, 16:58 GMT

    I'm sorry, but with respect the premise of this article is so wrong as to be laughable. Jacques Kallis has never been underappreciated. For most of his career he has rightly been hailed as the best allrounder in the world and one of the best batsmen.

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  • gilbert84 on July 25, 2012, 16:58 GMT

    I'm sorry, but with respect the premise of this article is so wrong as to be laughable. Jacques Kallis has never been underappreciated. For most of his career he has rightly been hailed as the best allrounder in the world and one of the best batsmen.

  • funkyandy on July 25, 2012, 17:25 GMT

    gilbert84 has the nail on the head - the media may not have given Kallis as many headlines as KP, Sachin, Ponting etc, but anyone with any cricket sense knows that Kallis is a modern day genius. Probably the greatest ever South African cricketer (he or RG Pollock or BA Richards)... certainly the best since readmission. Even better than Allan Donald - and Im a Warwickshire fan!!

  • Unomaas on July 25, 2012, 17:30 GMT

    Kallis appreciation (or lack thereof) is directly linked to the fact that saffer voices do not dictate world cricketing politics! Compared to other countries and their fans, I would say that saffer fans are rather timid when it comes to proclaiming greatness in their cricketing heroes. Take England and India for example...their fans and crickerting legends hype up the players to god like status e.g., overrated English attack, Sachin is THE GREATEST BATSMEN ever, etc. It could also be argued that us saffers are rather modest in our adoration which could be true given our modest boasting on this forum after our stupendous win :P. Whatever the reason, history will treat Jacques Kallis far better that we did. We will only realise his greatest when he leaves a massive whole in the SA middle order :(. Too many saffers like me, he is a living legend and something to be proud of. In most ways, he embodies and defines our test cricket. Obstinate, patience, grit, pace and swing...never say die!

  • on July 25, 2012, 17:44 GMT

    Nice article. Good to see Kallis getting some love, and this from a kiwi.

  • Dirk_L on July 25, 2012, 17:48 GMT

    @gilbert84: Go read the discussion on Rob Steen's article. The Kallis detractors are even now trying to pooh-pooh his achievements.

    "In terms of being a PURE allrounder, (a player being able to have been selected as a specialist bowler or batsmen), Kallis is well behind Sobers, Miller & Khan, all of which could easily been selected as a bowler or batsmen." -- "The comment about figures showing Kallis to be the greatest all-rounder also shows the flaw of dependence on figures. Wonderful player though Kallis is, Sobers still takes the top spot. Their comparative batting strengths are debatable, but for bowling quality, who would choose Kallis over Sobers?"

  • Harmony111 on July 25, 2012, 18:23 GMT

    I agree with Gilbert84. I don't think Kallis has been underappreciated (is that even a word?). If any thing then I would say that while Kallis may be one of the greatest all rounders of all times - a fact acknowledged by 99.94% of the fans, he is not as accomplished a batsman or a bowler as the other legends of the game. Kallis has never been an impact player and is known for his slow scoring rate. Look at it, his SR in tests is 45 and in ODIs it is 72 - this is by no means the way an impact player should play. It can be said for Kallis that he proves to be a very good support player like he did to Amla in the Oval Test. The strongest point about Kallis is that he is a reliable player who is assured to stay at the wicket to either tire the bowlers or to prevent a slide. There is a very good reason why Kallis has only 1 200 in 150+ Tests - he bats too slow to reach 200. Similar points could be made ofr his bowling. Anyways, Kallis is not less liked by any of us. He is #1-2 AR ever.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on July 25, 2012, 18:26 GMT

    If Kallis was from the subcontinent he would have been worshipped...literally, if he was from Eng he would have been a celebrity bigger than Flintoff and KP. He is from a team whose fans and former players hardly seem to fuss about much and his personality is similar. Best since Sobers period.

  • Maui3 on July 25, 2012, 18:27 GMT

    gilbert84, that the problem the author is addressing. Kallis is not 'the best allrounder and one of the best batsman'. he is the best ever allrounder (only Sobers is in the same leage. Imran, Botham, Miller, Kapil, etc are a few notches lower) and he is one of the best batsman ever (same league as Tendulkar, Richards. Only below Bradman).

  • Harmony111 on July 25, 2012, 18:30 GMT

    ERRATUM: Kallis has 2 Double Hundreds and not just 1. I regret the error.

  • djdrastic on July 25, 2012, 19:10 GMT

    @gilbert84 Weird that gilbert , the pommie commentators would not shut up about his record in England and were trying to compare Bresnan and Broad to Kallis all the time.