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February 27, 2009
Jacques Kallis has become the eighth batsman to 10,000 Test runs after achieving the record on the second day of the first Test at the Wanderers. Kallis, who is playing his 129th Test, started the match needing 12 to reach the milestone and brought it up with a push through cover for a single off Peter Siddle.
A roar went around the Wanderers as he and Neil McKenzie ran through for the run and Kallis removed his helmet and raised his bat to acknowledge the applause. The only other man on the field to have achieved the milestone, Ricky Ponting, jogged down the pitch from second slip to shake Kallis' hand.
Kallis is the first South African to reach the mark and has an enormous buffer over the next of his countrymen on the list - Gary Kirsten is second with 7289 runs. It has been a memorable couple of months for Kallis, who brought up his 10,000th ODI run during the recent tour of Australia.
"It's really important I think," Kallis said of his Test milestone. "Looking back at my career when I started if someone had said that I would have got 10,000 Test runs I would have taken that with both hands and I probably wouldn't have believed them. It does mean a lot to me."
He is nearly 2500 runs behind the world-record holder Sachin Tendulkar but he is also two-and-a-half years younger. Kallis would also need to overtake current players Ponting and Rahul Dravid if he was to set the record and he said it was not a scenario that was on his mind.
"I've never been a man for stats or worrying about that stuff," Kallis said. "I'll just play as long as I keep enjoying the game and if it happens it happens and if not, so be it. It's certainly not something that I'll be chasing after."
Entering the game Kallis had an average of 54.57 with 30 hundreds and 50 fifties but his impact is not limited to runs. He adds supreme value to the South African side with 252 wickets at 31.25 and he is the only man to have 10,000 Test runs and 100 wickets. His captain Graeme Smith said Kallis' all-round package made him a giant of the game.
"It is a fantastic achievement and one that is thoroughly deserved," Smith said. "For a large part of his career he had to carry South Africa's batting and it is this longevity which is one of the signs of true greatness. If you add in his 250 wickets and his 100-plus catches, you get a good idea of what a giant of the game he has become."