December 29, 2013

Goodbye to two old-school players

Jacques Kallis and Graeme Swann are very different off the field, but they contributed to their teams in similar, impressive fashions
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In the last few days the game has lost what even the most demanding northern England league cricket supporter would describe as "a couple of good 'uns".

The abrupt retirement and ensuing Twitter controversy told us much about the quirky personality of England's highly successful offspinner, Graeme Swann. On the field he was as traditional as they come: an old-school offie who relied on curve and drop from a hard-spun delivery and a simple "straight one", all delivered with a pleasingly clean action in an era where most offspinners lean heavily on the style of Paul Simon's "One-Trick Pony" - "a herky-jerky motion".

Off the field, so I'm told, Swann was an inveterate stirrer with his Twitter observations and eccentric originality, which produced his Ashes celebration "sprinkler dance".

In an era of bland interviews and highly controlled sporting media conferences, Swann will be missed as much for his originality of thought as he will be for his highly efficient offspin.

Just days after Swann's controversial retirement, the game lost the calm and clinical efficiency of the most successful allrounder in Test history, when South Africa's Jacques Kallis pronounced his departure with all the fanfare of an airline announcement. Kallis left the game in the same way he graced it; with no fuss, no controversy, and a lot of dignity. In years to come, as they gaze upon the cold, hard statistics, young cricket fans will wonder what the old-timers were gushing about when they said Garry Sobers is the best cricketer of all time.

Kallis' record is phenomenal. There is no one, not even the highly gifted Sobers, who can match him for statistical all-round efficiency. In Test cricket alone he averaged in the mid-fifties with the bat, bowled at a lively pace to capture nearly 300 victims, and completed 200 catches. Most cricketers would leave the game smugly satisfied with any one of those achievements to their name.

Kallis played with such clinical efficiency that his statistical success crept up on you like a father playing hide-and-seek with his kids. His batting, full of aesthetically pleasing cover drives and powerful pull shots, relied on technical efficiency and consistency rather than headline-grabbing starring roles. Whereas Sobers made news with six sixes in a first-class over, Kallis was a postscript in a match report: "Oh, and incidentally Kallis made a sound century, batting all day to dig his team out of a deep hole."

Kallis never took control of a game when he batted but there was a period in the mid-2000s when it looked like he had mastered it. Even during this period of high-scoring consistency, he was as low-profile as the average MI5 agent. The only information you could glean about the man was what you found in the scorebooks.

However, Kallis' influence in the South African dressing room was far greater than what his glitteringly ample record shows. He was as old-time as cricketers come; enjoying a beer after stumps and readily available if a younger team-mate needed advice or counselling.

By all reports he was a team-mate to be valued, but the only time this was revealed publicly was when his good friend Mark Boucher suffered a career-ending eye injury. Kallis then offered a rare public insight into his feelings but quickly reverted to type by allowing his bat to speak volumes; his first Test innings after Boucher's injury was a clinically constructed century dedicated to his close pal.

Swann and Kallis might be poles apart in personality but in one thing they were closely allied - as cricketers they were distinctly old-school. Swann eschewed a funky action and gimmicky deliveries, relying purely on good old-fashioned guile and guts to bamboozle his opponents. In an era of intense media scrutiny, Kallis defied the odds to become cricket's statistical superstar while remaining a virtual unknown.

Apart from being distinctly old-school, they have one other thing in common - the game will sorely miss them both.

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell is now a cricket commentator for Channel 9, and a columnist

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY TheCricketeer on | December 31, 2013, 5:51 GMT

    Kallis's batting style was largely dictated by the side he was playing in. It was an inexperienced brittle side that was often under significant pressure with the bat and he was relied upon to play the long knocks that the rest of the team could work around. I recall early on in his career before he was selected for the Proteas how he used to smash players over extra cover for 6 at newlands. He was a pretty flamboyant and aggressive player in his youth but he evolved into a wall ala Rahul Dravid due to circumstance. Noone can prove one way or another but I think the role he played in the first 8 to 10 years are far more difficult circumstances then the likes of Tendulkar, Ponting and Lara scored their runs under. As for comparisons with Botham, Hadlee and Dev - thats a joke - he was a different player but a far more valuable one. The only logical comparison is with Sobers but in era's so far apart that will always be a subjective one and barely worth discussing.

  • POSTED BY Clavers on | January 1, 2014, 0:26 GMT

    @GermanPlayer: Yes, I know a lower bowling average beats a higher one. I wasn't saying Sobers comes out ahead of Kallis on bowling average; he doesn't. I pointing out some other factors in the comparison. I agree Kallis has been a fantastic player, but I disagree with Ian Chappell and rate Sobers ahead of him, despite the higher bowling average. Sobers comes out ahead on batting average, batting strike rate, bowling variety, bowling endurance and fielding.

    Part of the role of a batting all-rounder or fifth bowler is to let the captain rest the strike bowlers when needed to keep them sharp: Hall and Griffiths in the case of Sobers, Donald and Steyn in the case of Kallis, Lee and Johnson in the case of Shane Watson. So the more overs the all-rounder can safely bowl, the more resources he gives the captain.

    Kallis by the way out-points Watson in this regard, bowling 12.4 overs per innings vs 10.4 for Watson, although Watson has a slightly better bowling average.

  • POSTED BY David_1946 on | December 31, 2013, 19:55 GMT

    Forget Kallis and Sobers, the greatest ever cricketer was Bradman. The Don was a one-man colossus who single-handedly won matches, or at least wrested the momentum his team's way to the point where their position was unassailable, in more than half the tests that he played. Every great player like Dravid or Laxman has a 'Kolkota performance', but Don played series-deciding innings in EVERY Ashes rubber between 1930 and 1948 (except bodyline). What's even more remarkable is that allrounders get two opportunities (batting, bowling) to impact a match, whereas Don had only one. Bodyline cut his average to 56 and strike rate to 75; but perhaps the greatest testimony was in 1938 when Hammond avoided declaring even with 900 runs on the board until it was confirmed that an injured Don wouldn't bat! Jacques Kallis is a modern superstar, and Sir Gary is one of the 5 best batsmen I've ever seen, but nobody has dominated cricket and outperformed his contemporaries by the margin that Don did.

  • POSTED BY peter56 on | December 31, 2013, 19:44 GMT

    TheCricketeer :It is a myth that the SAFFA batting was over dependent on JHK. just check the scorecards. on many occasions it was Boucher coming in at 7, Pollock at 8,and Klusener at 9.!! has there ever been a stronger 7,8,9 in test cricket??? Am I forgetting Bryan Mcmillan.JHk only provided 14% of South Africa's Runs during his 166 tests. Way down the lists not even in the top 25. Sobers on the other hand provided 16% of Windies runs scored during his 93. Lara held the Windies batting together far more heroically than JHK did for SA. He contributed almost 19% of WINDIES runs in his 130 tests for them, third in the all time list behind only Bradman and Headley.

  • POSTED BY on | December 31, 2013, 16:15 GMT

    Its really hard to cheer against South Africa with JK in the team. He is a model cricketer and I'm glad he got to live his life the way he wanted to, just by being a cricketer and not a celebrity. I wish him the best of luck with his ODI aspriations and if South Africa are not playing Australia in the final, will be cheering for them.

  • POSTED BY Drew2 on | December 31, 2013, 12:16 GMT

    I do agree that Kallis was an exceptional allrounder. Where he falls below a few other great allrounders, notably Gary Sobers, was his ability to win matches. There were times that he defended his wicket too much with a declaration imminent. His strike rate was a lot lower than other great batsman of his era. I constantly got the impression that he batted for his average. Ian Botham was the polar opposite. He had no regard for averages and his batting average was well below Kallis, but he turned Test matches around in the blink of an eye. Winning Tests should always come before batting records.

  • POSTED BY on | December 31, 2013, 9:39 GMT

    @ The Cricketer : How many great Fast Bowlers or Spinners did Kallis face compared to Gary Sobers . Just because he was a batting all rounder, you cannot underplay the other four bowling all rounders (that's a joke???) who were great match winners and savers for their Country and they all played in the era of Holding,Lillee, Roberts at all.

  • POSTED BY on | December 31, 2013, 8:52 GMT

    Very surprising that whenever discussion of The Greatest All-Rounder / Cricketer comes, people pitch in with Sobers & Kallis..

    These 2 are the Batting All-Rounders.. I pitch for Imran Khan, a Bowling All-Rounder.. I'm an Indian, & the Cricketer I have always admired is Imran Khan..

    Batting avg of 37, Bowling avg of 22, thats a ratio of 1.7 as good as Kallis or Sobers.. In the 2nd half of his career, when he was Captain (48 tests out of 88), he had a Batting avg of 52, & Bowling avg of 20, ratio of 2.6..

    Even phenomenal is an understatement.. His Batting style was compact, he owned responsibility, could switch gears and attack.. His Bowling was fast, furious, lethal.. And his Captaincy was inspirational, won the World Cup, held the mighty Windies to draws in Test series.. His legacy is best observed in numerous fast bowlers that Pakistan produces despite lack of proper infrastructure..

    What else one needs, to consider him in the same frame as the other 2, if not higher..

  • POSTED BY sanjaykk on | December 31, 2013, 6:46 GMT

    without thinking about quirks of test match innings. Tendulkar was and is still the biggest ticket in australia. if you have read the article on msn.com, tendulkar could be the trump card we need in australia to keep the world cup. He can still get the job done. 40's are the new 30's for sportman people. With indian collapse overseas have become too common, we need him for the world cup. If imran khan can do it so does sachin! I urge all the folks and fans of cricinfo to petition to bring back sachin for one dayers! We need him for world cup god damn it. We cant be down 10/2 chasing 275 in australia( which part of this you folks cant understand?). Test match is for people who have lot of time on their hands and purists. it is irrelevant in modern era. There is no trophy attached to it. Did anybody notice empty stadiums in this series? It is one dayes that india needs to win and keep! India has lot of work to do and time is short! They have train to catch! who is with me here?

  • POSTED BY sanjaykk on | December 31, 2013, 6:41 GMT

    kallis is good but he aint a sobers period. And my maan tendulkar is head and shoulder above all( if i am in mood i will put don beside him. Ah aussies disagree). don never faced square turners and was not known for grind it out batting. HE was more like run away train like some of the aussie batsman are( clarke comes to my mind, so did ponting). He also had measure of the opposition as they played each other a lot and on mostly same set of pitches. But that was the sign of times. But he was still great. you just cant go by averages people. The straight drive of sachin is nonpareil period. Tendulkar was robbed of lot of glory in 90's due to either pathetic indian batting or club quality bowling! It was only my man ganguly who changed it for good! Despite all that tendulkar still had 100 centuries and missed out 27 others! come to think of it, tendulkar should have done like jack. REtire from meaningless test matches and focus on one dayers. Here he could just bat for 2 hours without

  • POSTED BY TheCricketeer on | December 31, 2013, 5:51 GMT

    Kallis's batting style was largely dictated by the side he was playing in. It was an inexperienced brittle side that was often under significant pressure with the bat and he was relied upon to play the long knocks that the rest of the team could work around. I recall early on in his career before he was selected for the Proteas how he used to smash players over extra cover for 6 at newlands. He was a pretty flamboyant and aggressive player in his youth but he evolved into a wall ala Rahul Dravid due to circumstance. Noone can prove one way or another but I think the role he played in the first 8 to 10 years are far more difficult circumstances then the likes of Tendulkar, Ponting and Lara scored their runs under. As for comparisons with Botham, Hadlee and Dev - thats a joke - he was a different player but a far more valuable one. The only logical comparison is with Sobers but in era's so far apart that will always be a subjective one and barely worth discussing.

  • POSTED BY Clavers on | January 1, 2014, 0:26 GMT

    @GermanPlayer: Yes, I know a lower bowling average beats a higher one. I wasn't saying Sobers comes out ahead of Kallis on bowling average; he doesn't. I pointing out some other factors in the comparison. I agree Kallis has been a fantastic player, but I disagree with Ian Chappell and rate Sobers ahead of him, despite the higher bowling average. Sobers comes out ahead on batting average, batting strike rate, bowling variety, bowling endurance and fielding.

    Part of the role of a batting all-rounder or fifth bowler is to let the captain rest the strike bowlers when needed to keep them sharp: Hall and Griffiths in the case of Sobers, Donald and Steyn in the case of Kallis, Lee and Johnson in the case of Shane Watson. So the more overs the all-rounder can safely bowl, the more resources he gives the captain.

    Kallis by the way out-points Watson in this regard, bowling 12.4 overs per innings vs 10.4 for Watson, although Watson has a slightly better bowling average.

  • POSTED BY David_1946 on | December 31, 2013, 19:55 GMT

    Forget Kallis and Sobers, the greatest ever cricketer was Bradman. The Don was a one-man colossus who single-handedly won matches, or at least wrested the momentum his team's way to the point where their position was unassailable, in more than half the tests that he played. Every great player like Dravid or Laxman has a 'Kolkota performance', but Don played series-deciding innings in EVERY Ashes rubber between 1930 and 1948 (except bodyline). What's even more remarkable is that allrounders get two opportunities (batting, bowling) to impact a match, whereas Don had only one. Bodyline cut his average to 56 and strike rate to 75; but perhaps the greatest testimony was in 1938 when Hammond avoided declaring even with 900 runs on the board until it was confirmed that an injured Don wouldn't bat! Jacques Kallis is a modern superstar, and Sir Gary is one of the 5 best batsmen I've ever seen, but nobody has dominated cricket and outperformed his contemporaries by the margin that Don did.

  • POSTED BY peter56 on | December 31, 2013, 19:44 GMT

    TheCricketeer :It is a myth that the SAFFA batting was over dependent on JHK. just check the scorecards. on many occasions it was Boucher coming in at 7, Pollock at 8,and Klusener at 9.!! has there ever been a stronger 7,8,9 in test cricket??? Am I forgetting Bryan Mcmillan.JHk only provided 14% of South Africa's Runs during his 166 tests. Way down the lists not even in the top 25. Sobers on the other hand provided 16% of Windies runs scored during his 93. Lara held the Windies batting together far more heroically than JHK did for SA. He contributed almost 19% of WINDIES runs in his 130 tests for them, third in the all time list behind only Bradman and Headley.

  • POSTED BY on | December 31, 2013, 16:15 GMT

    Its really hard to cheer against South Africa with JK in the team. He is a model cricketer and I'm glad he got to live his life the way he wanted to, just by being a cricketer and not a celebrity. I wish him the best of luck with his ODI aspriations and if South Africa are not playing Australia in the final, will be cheering for them.

  • POSTED BY Drew2 on | December 31, 2013, 12:16 GMT

    I do agree that Kallis was an exceptional allrounder. Where he falls below a few other great allrounders, notably Gary Sobers, was his ability to win matches. There were times that he defended his wicket too much with a declaration imminent. His strike rate was a lot lower than other great batsman of his era. I constantly got the impression that he batted for his average. Ian Botham was the polar opposite. He had no regard for averages and his batting average was well below Kallis, but he turned Test matches around in the blink of an eye. Winning Tests should always come before batting records.

  • POSTED BY on | December 31, 2013, 9:39 GMT

    @ The Cricketer : How many great Fast Bowlers or Spinners did Kallis face compared to Gary Sobers . Just because he was a batting all rounder, you cannot underplay the other four bowling all rounders (that's a joke???) who were great match winners and savers for their Country and they all played in the era of Holding,Lillee, Roberts at all.

  • POSTED BY on | December 31, 2013, 8:52 GMT

    Very surprising that whenever discussion of The Greatest All-Rounder / Cricketer comes, people pitch in with Sobers & Kallis..

    These 2 are the Batting All-Rounders.. I pitch for Imran Khan, a Bowling All-Rounder.. I'm an Indian, & the Cricketer I have always admired is Imran Khan..

    Batting avg of 37, Bowling avg of 22, thats a ratio of 1.7 as good as Kallis or Sobers.. In the 2nd half of his career, when he was Captain (48 tests out of 88), he had a Batting avg of 52, & Bowling avg of 20, ratio of 2.6..

    Even phenomenal is an understatement.. His Batting style was compact, he owned responsibility, could switch gears and attack.. His Bowling was fast, furious, lethal.. And his Captaincy was inspirational, won the World Cup, held the mighty Windies to draws in Test series.. His legacy is best observed in numerous fast bowlers that Pakistan produces despite lack of proper infrastructure..

    What else one needs, to consider him in the same frame as the other 2, if not higher..

  • POSTED BY sanjaykk on | December 31, 2013, 6:46 GMT

    without thinking about quirks of test match innings. Tendulkar was and is still the biggest ticket in australia. if you have read the article on msn.com, tendulkar could be the trump card we need in australia to keep the world cup. He can still get the job done. 40's are the new 30's for sportman people. With indian collapse overseas have become too common, we need him for the world cup. If imran khan can do it so does sachin! I urge all the folks and fans of cricinfo to petition to bring back sachin for one dayers! We need him for world cup god damn it. We cant be down 10/2 chasing 275 in australia( which part of this you folks cant understand?). Test match is for people who have lot of time on their hands and purists. it is irrelevant in modern era. There is no trophy attached to it. Did anybody notice empty stadiums in this series? It is one dayes that india needs to win and keep! India has lot of work to do and time is short! They have train to catch! who is with me here?

  • POSTED BY sanjaykk on | December 31, 2013, 6:41 GMT

    kallis is good but he aint a sobers period. And my maan tendulkar is head and shoulder above all( if i am in mood i will put don beside him. Ah aussies disagree). don never faced square turners and was not known for grind it out batting. HE was more like run away train like some of the aussie batsman are( clarke comes to my mind, so did ponting). He also had measure of the opposition as they played each other a lot and on mostly same set of pitches. But that was the sign of times. But he was still great. you just cant go by averages people. The straight drive of sachin is nonpareil period. Tendulkar was robbed of lot of glory in 90's due to either pathetic indian batting or club quality bowling! It was only my man ganguly who changed it for good! Despite all that tendulkar still had 100 centuries and missed out 27 others! come to think of it, tendulkar should have done like jack. REtire from meaningless test matches and focus on one dayers. Here he could just bat for 2 hours without

  • POSTED BY sanjaykk on | December 31, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    .. He should get a look in. How well that boy performed in england and he gets the boot all the time. He can open and do the job if dhawan cannot do it. gautam is useless in australia and so is shewag( both fish outside the offstump!). India needs to plan to defend the world cup. we cannot give it away easily this time. We need some one to bat full innings and pujara or even rahane fits the bill here. Raina and yuvraj needs to get there act together or they have to be shown the door. It is just pathetic not to face bouncers. you should practice on concrete from half the pitch and must dare the ball on the body without the helmet so that you get some steel to face these bowls. With 2 bouncers allowed india has lost advantage in one dayers. They need a better plan. They have few things going for them however: some great stroke players,fielding is good and couple of match winning bowlers. They need to strengthen the weak links. chain is as strong as its weaklest link remember?

  • POSTED BY sanjaykk on | December 31, 2013, 6:33 GMT

    ...horrendous decisions he incurred in australia and other countries. Dale steryn was gifted wickets in this series. we know how predictable he can be on docile pitches when shewag had him on the mat( remember?). Even in this series india were robbed victory due to combination of things. comparing jack and tendulkar is preposterous and shows very very poor knowledge of cricket. Jack was given to free his arms outside the offstump by some cheap bowling by zaheer and co, no wonder out of form jack could get a century. The inability of indian spinners to extract bite and cut is also case in point( peterson got 3 wickets come on now). club bowling of indians and un-inspiring captaincy by dhoni cost india dear here. Having said that I was impressed with indian batting 4 guys are outright match winners for india koh,rah,puj,vijay. I dont think rohit is good in tests. Dhawan too! they are good for one dayers we need another solid player. dinesh karthik can play bounce and pace with ease, ..

  • POSTED BY sanjaykk on | December 31, 2013, 6:29 GMT

    damn, i had to register to just post here. People comparing sachin to kallis needs there head checked. Sachin is the legend of legends barring bradman( which I doubt) would even come close to tendulkar skills. Jack has piled stats facing mediocre attacks. He was sorted out by erstwhile aussies which tendulkar sent packing time n time again. kallis never took control of the match, he batted long and was ineffective most of the times. This match for example was lost due to mediocre batting of indians in both innings and club class bowling of indians. India should have won this series 2-0 but for pathetic display of lower order in both departments and complete non aggressive tactics of dhoni! Jack is a great player but he aint no tendulkar. Had tendulkar not injured and india had scheduled more matches with pak and australia tendulkar would have ended up with 150 centuries and 65 average if not more! He has missed nearly 30 centuries and not to mention horrendous decisions he incurred ..

  • POSTED BY on | December 31, 2013, 4:48 GMT

    Every one started comparing SRT and Kallis here. SRT would have gone with high note as Kallis if he had quit 2years back. Kallis is leaving the impression that, still he has 2 good years of cricket in him. This is the only difference makes us to feel now.

  • POSTED BY on | December 31, 2013, 4:26 GMT

    Yup. Kallis is one of the great Unsung heroes of the Modern game of Cricket and he definitely falls in the same league as the Quartet of Imran,Botham,Kapil and Hadlee and all of them were better bowlers than Kallis , but Kallis was a great Bat.

    Lets not speak of Sobers who is world's greatest all rounder of all time without any iota of doubt. Ian should know that the legendary Pollock and Barry Richards did not have any statistic to show that they were two of the great Batsmen of all time.

  • POSTED BY Mali-T658 on | December 31, 2013, 0:25 GMT

    Stats alone don't give you the full picture. Statistically speaking, Kallis might be on par with the modern greats like Tendulkar, Ponting, Lara, but he never had the same impact quotient the latter three had on the game. Neither his batting style was flamboyant. His ODI career is better left alone to say the least, since he was never a match winner in the shorter format of the game.

  • POSTED BY CustomKid on | December 31, 2013, 0:23 GMT

    @Rajesh.Kumar on (December 30, 2013, 17:00 GMT) hahaha that is a good one, thanks for the comedy gold. Why do you even compare JK to SRT? They are chalk and cheese. One is the greatest modern day batsman, the other is arguably the greatest cricketer of all time.

    If you're given the choice of Kallis or SRT it is a no brainer, Jacques would be first picked every day of the week. The guy is the complete package and brings so much more to the table. Runs alone he's as good as SRT, almost 300 wickets, and has hands in the cordon like a 10 litre bucket they're not in the same ball park.

    SRT was a great we all agree, but there are more aspects to cricket than batting alone and JK brings all those aspects to the fore. It's a shame India doesn't realise this point and start producing pitches to assist and develop there quicks. If they did that they would reach their potential but alas it won't happen.

    Oh and more gold re the fear, I'm an Aussie and I'm sure JK doesn't fear Mitch Johnson.

  • POSTED BY lugujaga on | December 30, 2013, 23:24 GMT

    both tendulka and kallis were topclass players. however i would have loved tendulka to exit test cricket playing in a real meaningfull series just like kallis.the bcci made tendulka appeared weak and timid for them not wanting him to retire in a series against south africa but instead against weak and shambled west indies team. yet tendulka missed the chance still, to exit test cricket in the same fashion as kallis. it would have been a real class contest to see tedulka and kallis played in the same series and retire at the same time.based on pure stats kallis is the best allround test cricketer ever sofar.enjoy life now both kallis and tendulka.great job guys

  • POSTED BY on | December 30, 2013, 23:01 GMT

    Ian, the statement about Kallis and Sobers implies that you have no confidence that Sobers could have taken 57 wickets in 73 more tests, as that is the number of matches Kallis played for just 57 wickets more! That's bordering absurdity! 73 tests is almost 80% of Sobers' entire career! The effect of the statement is that bad! I guess you may want to withdraw it! Because, if Sobers' batting avge is 3 points beyond Kallis', where did you get such a conclusion? Is it because of Kallis' two point lead in the bowling avge? To make matters worse, Sobers took his wickets in multiple different styles. Sir Gary Sobers was an omnipotent cricketer! I guess you made this statement as a bit of humour to generate some debate. However, hats off to the Great Jacques Kallis; he ended up with a strong second behind Sobers

  • POSTED BY StaalBurgher on | December 30, 2013, 22:47 GMT

    Kallis is the greatest cricketer of all time.

  • POSTED BY Nerk on | December 30, 2013, 21:43 GMT

    "He was as low profiled as the average MI5 agent!" Good call. Farewell to a wonderful cricketer, a gentleman and the most underrated legend ever.

  • POSTED BY daaikleintjie on | December 30, 2013, 21:39 GMT

    In comparing the bowling of Kallis and Sobers, it is not fair to compare the number of wickets / test match, because Sobers bowled many more balls in each test.

    Fact: Sobers bowled more deliveries in his 93 tests than Kallis bowled in his 166 tests.

    Sobers: 93 tests 21599 balls 235 wickets --> 91.9 balls/wicket Kallis: 166 tests 20232 balls 292 wickets --> 69.2 balls/wicket

    Sobers took more wickets per match, but Kallis took more wickets per over bowled.

    They are clearly the two greatest all-rounders, but it is very difficult to compare them when they played in different times, against different teams, and with different roles in their own teams.

  • POSTED BY wonky on | December 30, 2013, 20:34 GMT

    Hats off to Chappell here, I know having followed Kallis's career from start to finish and know that Ian was one of his early "bats for his average" critics. I think I even know the point at which Ian changed his tune on Jacque and that was when Kallis's upped the rate in Perth for his team to chase down 414 to beat the Aussies and claim the series. While the world tries to inevitably do their comparisons to other greats, and while his fans try to defend him, let's all just take a time out and acknowledge he is a great and will be sorely missed. His record will be one chased by all future cricketers now that his stats are final. For the all rounder in all of us, dreaming of bowling and batting for your country, this man is the ultimate hero and actually did it. I remember him clocking deliveries of 147 kph in 2005 in a one dayer and hitting a unbeaten century. That is the domain he operated in, that he owned, and that no other could do as consistently

  • POSTED BY SCC08 on | December 30, 2013, 20:31 GMT

    Fantastic article Mr Chappell, even greater the praise coming from former Ausi cap. There are to many different variables to compare different generational "great' cricketers but one thing is fore sure.. As much as various countries like to comepare their respective great allrounders to Gary Sobers, Jacques Kallis is the only one who has the credentials and fierce divided support to be honestly compared to him.. We thank you jacques Henry Kallis.

  • POSTED BY Unomaas on | December 30, 2013, 20:16 GMT

    Go to Statsguru, then compare Kallis + Sobers record.

    Then remove the minnows from their records. For Sobers, remove India and Pakistan and for Kallis remove Zimbabwe and Bagladesh. I guarantee you'll be suitably surprised.

    In the coming days, weeks, months, years...we'll be having lots of debates on the greatest all rounder and invariably, Kallis or Sobers name will be on the top of a list. There are definitely alot of holes in the "Sober's is the greatest all-rounder theory"

    The only difference I can fathom between the 2 is that Sobers was more entertaining than Kallis (or so Sobers fan's claim). Its also most probably why Sobers fans are more inclined to enjoy WWE wrestling and Kallis fan's not.

  • POSTED BY gandabhai on | December 30, 2013, 19:58 GMT

    Sachin is not the' Best Cricketer' of all time , That honour can only go to either Sobers or Kallis. Sachin is the 'Best Batsman' ever. He scored that many runs even though he had to battle against the immense' pressure of expectation' every time he went out to bat.No one else could have achieved what he did. THINK ABOUT IT.Think about a footballer in a penalty shoot out in a final . Thats how it was every time Sachin went out to bat.

  • POSTED BY on | December 30, 2013, 18:50 GMT

    All are great cricketers during their times.

  • POSTED BY Rajesh.Kumar on | December 30, 2013, 17:00 GMT

    He was a great test player and a true match winner for South Africa. For example, in his last test, if you take away his century, there is not much difference between SA and India in the first innings. So, because of his century, SA won this match. However, same cannot be said of his record in the ODIs. He was hardly a match winner there, and more like a burden on the team. Tendulkar was far greater an ODI player than Kallis, while Kallis certainly has higher batting average than Tendulkar in the tests. But he was clearly not very happy at the prospect of facing Mitchell Johnson in the upcoming test series, so he very wisely decided to retire. Overall, I would say that Tendulkar was far greater than Kallis given his great record in both formats of the game. But Kallis should surely be remembered as the second best batsman of the modern era, after Tendulkar. Ponting does not merit a comparison here, because of his inability to score runs in India, on spinning pitches.

  • POSTED BY Capricorn60 on | December 30, 2013, 16:45 GMT

    Even though Kallis is an all-round great of the game, don't understand why Chappell & others have to denigrate Gary Sobers in the process as his records clearly matches that of Kallis. Obviously a lot more cricket is played these days when compared to yesteryears but in appreciating current greats like Kallis, let us not undermine the achievements & memories of past greats like Gary Sobers.

  • POSTED BY IPSY on | December 30, 2013, 16:34 GMT

    "Kallis' record is phenomenal. There is no one, not even the highly gifted Sobers, who can match him for statistical all-round efficiency" (Chappell, I, 2013). Ian, as an ardent fan of yours, I totally disagree with the above statement. Please note that I've the greatest respect for Gt J. Kallis as the greatest cricketer of All Time, second only to the Gt Gary Sobers. Why I disagree: It appears that your analysis follows that pattern whereby some people form conclusions just based on face value aggregates! You wouldn't expect a player of of Kallis' calibre, to play all of 73 more tests than Sobers and have less runs and wickets than him! I'm talking about 73 MORE MATCHES! But Sobers' batting avge is 58, all of 3 points above Kallis'; Sobers took 235 wickets at 34 in his 93 tests, Kallis took 292 at 32 in his 166 matches. So, in all of 73 more tests, Kallis only took 57 more wickets than Gary, less than one per test. So, Sobers can't match Kallis' all-round efficiency is far fetched?

  • POSTED BY Choudury on | December 30, 2013, 15:49 GMT

    Even purely as a batsman, Kallis is better than Tendulakar.

    This is confirmed fact by the recent cricinfo article with the both their stats compared.

    But Tendulkar got so much more hype about retiring, even though he retired a few years later than he should have. Kallis retired with a century in test match cricket, and with no one wondering "when will he reitre?"

  • POSTED BY peter56 on | December 30, 2013, 15:37 GMT

    GermanPlayer: Usually you would be right about the bowling average, but not in this case. reason being Sobers bowled in 3 different styles the more you spread yourself the harder it is to excel in all. GS regularly opened the bowling,and then employed spin in the same test. Imagine if JK had had to follow bowling fast medium in a test, by bowling 10-15 overs of spin, his bowling average would probably go way over 40. Its like watching 2 jugglers. one is juggling 3 balls the other 1. If the one juggling 1, drops fractionally fewer balls than the one juggling 3, everyone can still see that the juggler able to juggle 3 balls is a better juggler than the one who is only able to juggle 1 .for Juggler substitute Bowler.The best estimation of Sobers operating in his Fast left arm style only, is average about 27 -28. He started bowling fast medium about 1961-62. The 2 hardest batsmen to dismiss in the 1960's were Barrington (average 58) and Boycott and he dismissed both 7 times each

  • POSTED BY S.Jagernath on | December 30, 2013, 15:17 GMT

    As great a player as Jacques Kallis is,he is not the greatest allrounder.Kallis has scored 13289 runs & taken 292 wickets in 166 tests.That is 80.05 runs per match & 1.75 wickets per test.Garfield Sobers took his 235 wickets at 2.52 per match & scored his 8000 runs at 86 runs per match.How can Kallis be called the most successful allrounder then?He takes less wickets & scores less runs than Sobers per test!

  • POSTED BY Jeeves_ on | December 30, 2013, 15:16 GMT

    Too many comparisons, can't folks just appreciate greatness. Tendulkar, Kallis, Sobers, all great cricketers. On their day, Sobers was probably greater than the lot. Yet, over a career, Kallis was Mr Consistent. Kudos to them all.

  • POSTED BY on | December 30, 2013, 15:06 GMT

    Absolutely fantastic article by Ian Chappell.

  • POSTED BY on | December 30, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    @Shehan_W:Not unique. Lara also held that record when he retired.

  • POSTED BY on | December 30, 2013, 14:18 GMT

    This is how I will tell. Let us not compare Kallis either with Sobers or with Tendulkar. Each pf those players had to brave their own challenges both external and internal. Only point one could say is all the three were great extraordinary players. As an Indian, I know what were the challenges of Tendulkarn. He was the member of a team with bowling weakness which can show up anytime. At times, his batting was also challenge with other batsmen finding it difficult against the tough genuine pace bowling. Kallis was always a member of a team with strong bowling.

  • POSTED BY on | December 30, 2013, 14:14 GMT

    The best compliment I can give is that kallis is a true cricketer. A gentlemen, who played the game like men of an era long gone. The stats will show he was one of a kind....But may his character be an example for all future cricketers and young men.

  • POSTED BY on | December 30, 2013, 12:39 GMT

    kallis is a great cricketer but certainly not the greatest.there are different facets to greatness and hence comparison with tendulkar is meaningless.... 1.never heard kallis winning many odis with his batting.if a score of 300 is on board he is practically useless.not many players survive with strike rate of 72.many SAfrican fans have questions his place in odi setup. 2.he does not counterattack due to his low range of shots.never heard him of seizing the initiative,or enforcing a strong position like the ponting ,tendulkar and lara did. 3.struggled in aus ,eng,. 4.unable to help SA win major trophies inspite of having a champ team. 5.people talk of his batting on spicy green tops,but only AUS has fast bowlers to exploit those conditions.medium pacers and spinners are cannon fodders without spin and reverse. 6.he was no way a matchwinner but definitely a great matchsaver. this was no way an anti kallis writeup as he was one of the all time legends but comparison to oth legds.......

  • POSTED BY BellCurve on | December 30, 2013, 10:24 GMT

    Kallis has a vastly superior record to Tendulkar as a No4 batsman (he averages 61 if you exclude Zim and Ban, whereas SRT averages a little over 50). Moverover, despite bowling only with the old ball and into the wind, Kallis has bowled more balls than Zaheer, and maintained a better bowling average. These cold hard facts tell you clearly and objectively why Kallis stands head and shoulders above the rest as the best Test cricketer of his generation. Only Bradman could be called greater.

  • POSTED BY on | December 30, 2013, 7:41 GMT

    Kaliis is the best batsmen of all time. Better than Soubers and tendulalkars

  • POSTED BY on | December 30, 2013, 7:31 GMT

    Kallis left the game with lot of dignity. Great all rounder best number 4 batsman for sure compared to his time number 4 others.

  • POSTED BY SamRoy on | December 30, 2013, 6:31 GMT

    In years to come, as they gaze upon the cold, hard statistics, young cricket fans will wonder what the old-timers were gushing about when they said Garry Sobers is the best cricketer of all time. -- best line in the column, cricket is not just about statistics.

  • POSTED BY wrenx on | December 30, 2013, 6:13 GMT

    @chrisp my post was about cricketers, yours was not. Maybe you're the one who needs to rethink the need about posting?

  • POSTED BY Cool_Jeeves on | December 30, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    It is quite ridiculous to call Kallis an all-rounder in the league of Sobers. Sobers with the ball was one of West Indies' front line bowlers. For instance, in England in 1966, he took 20 wickets at 20, made 722 runs at 103, took 10 catches, all this in the space of 5 tests. Even he was not truly a bowler of the highest class but was definitely a batsman. But when he turned it on, he could do both with equal facility. Another example is his 183 and 6/21 in the first test against England when captaining the rest of the world. Kallis was a great batsman + a steady bowler, but his bowling did not have the same value as a full time bowler.

  • POSTED BY on | December 30, 2013, 5:45 GMT

    Probably the most perfect (pardon the hyperbole) summary of a truly great cricketer. As Ian C has said- he always let his bat or ball do the talking, I don't recall any issue or controversy on or off the field that had his name ascribed to it.

    This tells me that he eschewed all sorts of distractions to focus on what he does best .....

  • POSTED BY frankc1974 on | December 30, 2013, 5:41 GMT

    Why is Kallis a great modern player while Sobers in an all-time great? The main difference I see is that Sobers had a bit of flair and bowled a variety of styles. While I think Sobers is the better player it is only marginally. In my view Kallis is an all-time great and the second best all-rounder in the history of the game after Sobers.

  • POSTED BY Poholiyadda on | December 30, 2013, 5:06 GMT

    Sir Gary Sobers : 93 tests, 8032 runs , 235 wickets and 109 catches

    Jacques Kallis : 166 tests, 13289 runs, 292 wickets and 200 catches

    Kallis is the great all rounder of modern era but Sir Garry is the all time great. He once held both the records for most test runs in a career and highest score by a batsman in an innings, which is a unique record only held by him in the history.

  • POSTED BY Robster1 on | December 30, 2013, 4:22 GMT

    Good piece - King Kallis must indeed be very close to being the best player of all time. Respect and immeasurable thanks.

  • POSTED BY on | December 30, 2013, 1:04 GMT

    The fact that Tendulkar is mentioned every time Bradman, Lara, Viv, Ponting, Kallis or Dravid are discussed speaks volumes about what he achieved in cricket. The man turned out to be a true icon of the sport!

  • POSTED BY Cricket_theBestGame on | December 30, 2013, 0:22 GMT

    pleeassee...you are still crying over swan's retirement...maybe recommend CA to hire him to teach young spinners of aust..oh wait until one comes who can bowl a not so "straight one", then everyone will be head over heels for the talent !

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2013, 20:25 GMT

    There are some short and selective memories around here. Kallis has indeed won an ICC trophy. The very first Champions Trophy in 1998, where he was Man of the Series.

  • POSTED BY sam00973 on | December 29, 2013, 19:16 GMT

    KALLIS is a master class ..i think their is no comparison between KALLIS AND TENDULKER..Tendulkar is a great batsman but Kallis is a great bowler ,batsman and a fielder ....if u would ask anybody who know about cricket i m sure he would say that Kallis is better then Tendulkar ...if any team have to choose between these 2 player m damn sure they would play Kallis in their team not tendulker bcoz Kallis is more dependent then Tendulker AND KALLIS average is better thn tendulkers average>>

  • POSTED BY gsingh7 on | December 29, 2013, 18:42 GMT

    end of an era. after sachin , two more old players retire. time for newer players who will fill their boots. sachin though was able to fulfill his life long dream to win a world cup as india became first country to win a wc trophy on their own soil.that too in sachin's hometown. swann never got a chance to even play in finals so does kallis. if kallis can play till next wc then he have chance to win wc but sa are known to buckle under pressure of world cups.hope they reach wc final atleast this time.

  • POSTED BY F.Hashimi on | December 29, 2013, 18:37 GMT

    who would you pick between Sachin Tedulkar and Kallis? My choice all day long is going to be Kallis. Sachin was a great batsman, but Kallis was everything that you could dream of in a cricket field. a bowler, a great batsman, a great fielder and above all a team player who did't car about his records and he always put SA first.

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2013, 18:31 GMT

    The mere fact that Sobers and Kallis are mentioned in the same sentence speaks volumes for both men. Well done Jacques, this saffa in California is sad to see you go. MAGNIFICANT!

  • POSTED BY GermanPlayer on | December 29, 2013, 17:42 GMT

    @Clavers A higher bowling average means lower bowling ability. You falsely implied that Sobers was better using the stat: his test bowling average came out slightly higher than Kallis (34.03 to 32.53)

    Also, if kallis bowled less number of overs, shouldn't that count as an advantage to Kallis?

    We will never know what Sobers could have achieved in ODIs, but what Kallis did for 18 years in both formats is remarkable. As Ian said, many cricketers would be satisfied by having only the bowling or batting stats that kallis has!

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2013, 17:42 GMT

    Jacques Kallis, what a great cricketer you've been Surely the best that we've ever seen So much entertainment have you provided With bat and ball and slip catches beside it Your prowess will no longer Newlands grace But we look forward to seeing your face When during the Aussie series faithful fans And all of South Africa gets a chance To pay proper tribute to Kallis the king That in your ears will forever ring Our appreciation to you for everything.

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2013, 17:21 GMT

    The greatest cricketer of all time, not just the greatest of the modern era.

  • POSTED BY lararichards on | December 29, 2013, 16:56 GMT

    With the retirement of Tendulkar and now Kallis the last player of the recent Golden Age of Cricket have gone. In the last 15/20 years we have had a golden age. One all time great team which contained all time great players plus all time greats of other test teams - Lara, Ambrose, Tendulkar, Dravid, Murali, Wasim and Kallis. The Australian team has gone and now the last two greats from that era have retired. Thanks for the memories gents.

  • POSTED BY sumit1982 on | December 29, 2013, 15:16 GMT

    I thought Graeme Swann choose the wrong time to say goodbye.I thought he will say goodbye to test after playing home test series between Indian and England.

    Kallis is modern era Gary sobers their is no question about it.One thing Kallis will not satisfied in his 18 years service to the cricket that he can't help win any ICC trophy for South Africa whether 50 over or Twenty over.

  • POSTED BY Clavers on | December 29, 2013, 13:46 GMT

    A few points about Sobers vis-a-vis Kallis:

    Both had outstanding batting averages, Sobers a little higher, but of the two Sobers could probably score faster.

    As a bowler, the glaring difference of course is that Sobers bowled left-arm spin, both orthodox and Chinaman, in addition to fast-medium. He also bowled a lot more overs than Kallis. Kallis averaged 12.4 overs per innings in which he bowled; Sobers 22.6. Sobers had the slower strike rate but better economy, and his test bowling average came out slightly higher than Kallis (34.03 to 32.53). So in a few respects he offered more to his captain than Kallis did.

    While Kallis was a fine fieldsman, Sobers was among the very best ever. There are video clips on Youtube of Sobers taking catches at "silly leg slip." Ridiculously close to the batsman; freakish.

    Sobers would be 2nd player picked after Bradman in an all-time World XI. But if Sobers were "injured," Kallis would replace him as the batting all-rounder.

  • POSTED BY chapathishot on | December 29, 2013, 13:29 GMT

    @rizwan1981:How many matches Lara won by his batting alone.Lara was a big run scorer with Flair but not a match winner.Steve Waugh ranks higher as a match winner than Lara.Tendulkar is a better batsman than Kallis is because he scored his runs against all oppositions in home and away conditions.But Kallis had scored heavily in some of the countries and failed in some others

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2013, 12:47 GMT

    Thank you Ian for paying homage to one of the true greats of the game. After the over the top exit of Tendulkar, it is refreshing to see Kallis quietly leave the game he has given so much to. His record is impeccable with bat and ball, and in many ways he contributed more than his contemporaries (Tendulkar, Ponting, Lara) with far less fuss and fanfare. What a great role model to young cricketets on how to handle yourself and play to your strengths.

  • POSTED BY peter56 on | December 29, 2013, 11:04 GMT

    'Kallis' record is phenomenal. There is no one, not even the highly gifted Sobers, who can match him for statistical all-round efficiency'.Ian you are being taken in by the aggregates in 18 out of 20 valid test statistical comparison categories Sobers comes out on top.and remember if you want to have a bottom line when statistically judging all rounders, you subtract the bowling average from the batting average and its Sobers first, Kallis second and wally Hammond third

  • POSTED BY rizwan1981 on | December 29, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    Forget Kallis's wickets and catches - Purely as a Batsman , Kallis who is 38 years old , averaged 55 and has 45 Test centuries to his credit whereas SACHIN TENDULKAR who was 40 years old , averaged 53 and had 51 test centuries.

    Why is there a debate about who was the better batsman , when Kallis was the better performer - Of course , if the criteria is who was a match winner , Lara is superior to Kallis and Tendulkar

    If Kallis continued , he may easily have gone past Sachin's record

  • POSTED BY jockoz on | December 29, 2013, 10:36 GMT

    Never understood why the Saffas didn't love and admire one of the best players, ever, more. Ok some could argue he played for himself and was rumoured to be not much of a team man, but 13000runs, ya gotta have done something for your team in there somewhere. Also now the stories will come out about wether he was a team man after all. Me I just think the guy kept himself to himself. Old school like Chappeli says. One of the greats,End of story, can't argue with the stats! If you did, we would then have to question the little masters position of greatness and we wouldn't want to do that now would we?

  • POSTED BY thebeautifulgame on | December 29, 2013, 10:09 GMT

    I am an Indian and we are looking at a possible defeat thanks to Dhoni's harebrained batting and yet another Kallis special.

    Even though it may well mean an Indian defeat, I wish Kallis could get the small matter of 8 wickets in our second innings so that he could close with 300 wickets. It would be perfect if he did, results be damned in this Test which looks increasingly in SA's grasp.

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    Jacques does not get the credit from media as he deserved it, He was a Golden war horse for SA for 15 - 18 years. A special batsmen who crossed 13k+ runs in tests.If you compare the situation runs kallis got under pressure with brain,sachin,ricky kallis stands out. His chasing record is very good. Kallis was probably the top 10 allrounders world has ever got. And probably top 20 batsman in world. The workload of kallis is amazing

  • POSTED BY Blackholesun on | December 29, 2013, 8:04 GMT

    People compare Kallis with Tendulkar, but they forget that the cricket is played differently in SA and India. Moreover many do not realize what's the pressure of a billion people means. A country which has not produced quality players for long, Tendulkar was the only hope. No other player in the history of game has taken the kind of pressure, Tendulkar had. So in my opinion comparisons are useless.

    Both have been the greatest ambassador of the game and both have been really good gentlemen on and off the field.

  • POSTED BY Volatility on | December 29, 2013, 7:29 GMT

    The Tendulkar Effect ...

    Trott, Swann ... now Kallis

  • POSTED BY pat_one_back on | December 29, 2013, 7:18 GMT

    Pretty sure Ian's Sth Australian @legsidewide. Kallis will be remembered in company with Warne, Lara & Tendulkar as an all time great of the era. Your future is T20 I gather..

  • POSTED BY Cool_Jeeves on | December 29, 2013, 6:57 GMT

    I am so glad Kallis retired with the exact opposite of Tendulkar as far as media hype is concerned. He has received many many accolades, and Indian fans have been careful to bracket him as an all rounder - whereas the truth is as a batsman he averages 2 runs more than Tendulkar, who did not take 200 catches or 300 wickets. But Tendulkar was a captain for a brief while, and must get credit for that. However, in my eyes he fell when I learnt that he had requested the last match to be in Mumbai. We are denied some excellent cricket as a consequence. No such drama with Kallis. Great man, great batsman.

  • POSTED BY riahcmra on | December 29, 2013, 6:41 GMT

    seems he's another guy that doesn't want to face Mitchell Johnson ... Trott, Swann ... now Kallis

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    Let us not compare Kallis with Sobers. Two are from different eras. Having said that, I was really surprised to see Kallis retire now. He never gave any indication and he has been playing well. To me, he is the greatest all rounder of the current era - at least the statistics speak of it.Not only in Test Cricket, he was exceptional in ODIs and Twenty Twenty.His contribution to KKR in IPL has been magnificent. My best wishes to him.

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2013, 6:01 GMT

    Extremely well written article, Mr. Chappell. Well articulated - one old fashioned and orthodox in all senses, the other old fashioned on the field and a bit of a maverick off it.

    Kallis will go down as an all time great - Swann a very good player. Maybe Kallis could have taken a few more matches by the scruff of the proverbial neck, but then again - perhaps he did but not much was written about it. Even yesterday, Cullinan and Manjrekar were politely slamming him for low scoring rate - even though he dug SA out of a big hole

  • POSTED BY Phat-Boy on | December 29, 2013, 5:47 GMT

    Legside Wide. Forward thinking cricket fans will miss Swann and Kallis, if they don't, then they aren't cricket fans at all and are merely plebs with a low attention span that wouldn't know proper cricket if it crept up and smacked them in the side of the head like a well-directed bouncer.

  • POSTED BY fayyaz03 on | December 29, 2013, 5:22 GMT

    Why Kallis? Why? This was not even your lean patch. And you were also not struggling with fitness. The catches in the slips tell this clearly. Three more years of Test cricket and you would have beaten Tendulker in terms of runs with a better average with around 350 wickets under your belt. We will miss you. All the best for your ODI Career

  • POSTED BY Chris_P on | December 29, 2013, 4:41 GMT

    @legsidewid Do everyone a favour and not post, unlike Chappeli, we won't miss you one little bit. If you can't say anything positive, don't post. Is that too hard to digest?

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2013, 3:59 GMT

    On a lighter note, one can say this - India wanted to send off Sachin - they called West Indies for a 2 test series. South Africa wanted to send off Kallis - they accepted a 2 test series with India :) If people did not catch up with him in his career beginning, just his lbw dismissal in the first test was good enough to show how cricket was fortunate enough to be graced by his presence. Given out despite an inside edge, he just walked into the dressing room without much of a 'pain' at the umpire's decision, forget dissent. The commentators were even more sportive, they just moved on. If it had been India, all news channels would have headlined this 'unjust treatment' to a great cricketer, how it stank of racism, calls for diplomatic standoff etc!

  • POSTED BY henchart on | December 29, 2013, 3:38 GMT

    It happens almost in all big teams.The flashy and flamboyant grab the headlines while staid ,steady ones go about their job unassumingly. Kallis was the low profile,gentle giant while Tendulkar,Lara,Ponting,KP etc hogged the limelight. Kallis can be termed one of the best allrounders in the game, if not the best.I would still rate Sir Gary a notch above Kallis simply because Kallis played with more protective gears and not on uncovered pitches.As a batsman he would easily make among all time greats .In terms of consistency ,he is second to none in modern era.Hats off to Kallis.

  • POSTED BY wrenx on | December 29, 2013, 2:03 GMT

    Ian, you're a dinosaur, and another one we could do about. Forward-thinking cricket fans won't miss Swann, won't miss Kallis, and certainly won't miss you and your Victorian views.

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | December 29, 2013, 1:17 GMT

    Wow! This is not what I expected from Ian Chappel:

    "the game lost the calm and clinical efficiency of the most successful allrounder in Test history when South Africa's Jacques Kallis pronounced his departure … Kallis' record is phenomenal. There is no one, not even the highly gifted Sobers, who can match him for statistical all-round efficiency."

    I find the Kallis vs Sobers debate boring. Different players in different times, no valid "absolute" comparisons are really possible. My belief is Kallis has only one equal, one peer, one player to which he is comparable - Sobers, and Sobers has only one equal, one peer - Kallis.

    I thought that Chappel would be one of the "old-timers ... opining 'Garry Sobers is the best cricketer of all time.'" I am happy he is not, and happy that he has not said that Jacques Kallis is the best cricketer of all time. Successful all-rounder, statistical all-round efficiency - these are measured, considered realities, not opinions. Well said, Mr. Chappel.

  • POSTED BY on | December 28, 2013, 23:58 GMT

    I'm a little shocked that Jacques Kallis has decided to retire from test cricket. What a fantastic player! I always remembered him as being the 'thorn' of the West Indies side with either bat or ball whenever we played South Africa. Test cricket would miss him for sure as he can perhaps be considered 'the best all rounder the game has seen'. As for Swann, I think he left the game a bit too early despite his team's poor showing in the Ashes.

  • POSTED BY on | December 28, 2013, 23:58 GMT

    I'm a little shocked that Jacques Kallis has decided to retire from test cricket. What a fantastic player! I always remembered him as being the 'thorn' of the West Indies side with either bat or ball whenever we played South Africa. Test cricket would miss him for sure as he can perhaps be considered 'the best all rounder the game has seen'. As for Swann, I think he left the game a bit too early despite his team's poor showing in the Ashes.

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | December 29, 2013, 1:17 GMT

    Wow! This is not what I expected from Ian Chappel:

    "the game lost the calm and clinical efficiency of the most successful allrounder in Test history when South Africa's Jacques Kallis pronounced his departure … Kallis' record is phenomenal. There is no one, not even the highly gifted Sobers, who can match him for statistical all-round efficiency."

    I find the Kallis vs Sobers debate boring. Different players in different times, no valid "absolute" comparisons are really possible. My belief is Kallis has only one equal, one peer, one player to which he is comparable - Sobers, and Sobers has only one equal, one peer - Kallis.

    I thought that Chappel would be one of the "old-timers ... opining 'Garry Sobers is the best cricketer of all time.'" I am happy he is not, and happy that he has not said that Jacques Kallis is the best cricketer of all time. Successful all-rounder, statistical all-round efficiency - these are measured, considered realities, not opinions. Well said, Mr. Chappel.

  • POSTED BY wrenx on | December 29, 2013, 2:03 GMT

    Ian, you're a dinosaur, and another one we could do about. Forward-thinking cricket fans won't miss Swann, won't miss Kallis, and certainly won't miss you and your Victorian views.

  • POSTED BY henchart on | December 29, 2013, 3:38 GMT

    It happens almost in all big teams.The flashy and flamboyant grab the headlines while staid ,steady ones go about their job unassumingly. Kallis was the low profile,gentle giant while Tendulkar,Lara,Ponting,KP etc hogged the limelight. Kallis can be termed one of the best allrounders in the game, if not the best.I would still rate Sir Gary a notch above Kallis simply because Kallis played with more protective gears and not on uncovered pitches.As a batsman he would easily make among all time greats .In terms of consistency ,he is second to none in modern era.Hats off to Kallis.

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2013, 3:59 GMT

    On a lighter note, one can say this - India wanted to send off Sachin - they called West Indies for a 2 test series. South Africa wanted to send off Kallis - they accepted a 2 test series with India :) If people did not catch up with him in his career beginning, just his lbw dismissal in the first test was good enough to show how cricket was fortunate enough to be graced by his presence. Given out despite an inside edge, he just walked into the dressing room without much of a 'pain' at the umpire's decision, forget dissent. The commentators were even more sportive, they just moved on. If it had been India, all news channels would have headlined this 'unjust treatment' to a great cricketer, how it stank of racism, calls for diplomatic standoff etc!

  • POSTED BY Chris_P on | December 29, 2013, 4:41 GMT

    @legsidewid Do everyone a favour and not post, unlike Chappeli, we won't miss you one little bit. If you can't say anything positive, don't post. Is that too hard to digest?

  • POSTED BY fayyaz03 on | December 29, 2013, 5:22 GMT

    Why Kallis? Why? This was not even your lean patch. And you were also not struggling with fitness. The catches in the slips tell this clearly. Three more years of Test cricket and you would have beaten Tendulker in terms of runs with a better average with around 350 wickets under your belt. We will miss you. All the best for your ODI Career

  • POSTED BY Phat-Boy on | December 29, 2013, 5:47 GMT

    Legside Wide. Forward thinking cricket fans will miss Swann and Kallis, if they don't, then they aren't cricket fans at all and are merely plebs with a low attention span that wouldn't know proper cricket if it crept up and smacked them in the side of the head like a well-directed bouncer.

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2013, 6:01 GMT

    Extremely well written article, Mr. Chappell. Well articulated - one old fashioned and orthodox in all senses, the other old fashioned on the field and a bit of a maverick off it.

    Kallis will go down as an all time great - Swann a very good player. Maybe Kallis could have taken a few more matches by the scruff of the proverbial neck, but then again - perhaps he did but not much was written about it. Even yesterday, Cullinan and Manjrekar were politely slamming him for low scoring rate - even though he dug SA out of a big hole

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    Let us not compare Kallis with Sobers. Two are from different eras. Having said that, I was really surprised to see Kallis retire now. He never gave any indication and he has been playing well. To me, he is the greatest all rounder of the current era - at least the statistics speak of it.Not only in Test Cricket, he was exceptional in ODIs and Twenty Twenty.His contribution to KKR in IPL has been magnificent. My best wishes to him.