Kallis, the keystone of South Africa's batting
As South Africa piled on the runs against New Zealand, Jacques Kallis went past a number of personal milestones and, along with Hashim Amla, set a few more records.
Kallis became the eighth batsman to go past to 9000-run mark in Tests and currently possesses a batting average of 57.74, second only to Ricky Ponting's 59.27 among batsmen to have scored more than 9000 Test runs.
Kallis is also by far South Africa's leading Test run-scorer, with Gary Kirsten and Herschelle Gibbs the only other batsmen to have gone past the 5000-run mark.
With 218 wickets to his name, Kallis is also one of three players - Garry Sobers and Ian Botham are the others - to have completed the treble of 5000 runs, 200 wickets and 100 catches. In fact, Kallis' Test record is uncannily similar to that of Sobers, generally considered to be the greatest allrounder.
Kallis has equally impressive records both home and away; in fact his average of 58.85 in 49 away Tests is better than the 56.82 he manages at home. That away record is boosted by the fact that Kallis has amassed 503 in four innings in Zimbabwe, being dismissed only once in the process. Against Australia, the best side during his playing days, Kallis averages 38.32. Sri Lanka is the only other team against whom he averages below 40, an indication of his consistency. (For Kallis' career batting summary, click here.)
With his 186 in South Africa's second innings, Kallis is now seventh on the list of all-time leading centurions, with 28 hundreds. However, he would be disappointed to once again miss out on a double-hundred. Surprisingly, for a batsman known for his ability to occupy the crease, Kallis is yet to go past the 200-run milestone in a Test innings, despite having eight previous scores of 150-plus prior to this knock. Kallis utilised 262 balls for his 186, his best hundred till date in terms of strike-rate.
Kallis is the lone batsman among the 11 with more than 25 Test hundreds not to have made a double-century. His 330-run stand with Amla - the best for any wicket in New Zealand-South Africa Tests - helped the hosts set an imposing target of 531 for the visitors. Kallis has been at his best in the third innings of a match, with an average of over 70. However, 996 of those 2643 runs have come in drawn matches, at an average of 166 in 14 innings. Kallis' average in the 29 drawn Tests he's played in is 78.74.
Though Kallis has batted at the No. 3 position, he's at his best at two-down, where his average is next only to Pakistan's Mohammad Yousuf.
Kallis also inched closer to 1000 Test runs for the fourth time in a calendar year. He currently has 994 runs in 2007, having previously achieved the feat in 2001, 2004 and 2005. He has scored four hundreds so far this year, and averages over 90, his best in any calendar year.
During the course of his innings, Kallis became South Africa's leading run-scorer against New Zealand, while Amla's unbeaten 176 bettered his previous best of 149, also against New Zealand in Cape Town last year.
All figures updated till the end of the third's day play.
Mathew Varghese is an editorial assistant with Cricinfo. For some of the stats, he was helped by HR Gopalakrishna.