South Africa v India, 3rd Test, Cape Town, 2nd day January 3, 2011

Lower order showed guts - Kallis


Jacques Kallis showed once again why he is South Africa's leading man with the bat, making 161 out of his team's total of 362, and adding 79 potentially crucial runs with numbers 10 and 11, but was happy to give credit to the lower order for sticking it out with him.

"It wasn't easy out there and they got us those 70-80 extra runs," Kallis said after he added 27 runs with Paul Harris for the ninth wicket and 52 runs with Tsotsobe for the last wicket. out of which Tsotsobe made eight. "It's the first time he's ever been involved in a 50-run partnership," Kallis said of the number 11 batsmen, "so he felt like he'd scored a hundred."

Although Harris and Tsotsobe collectively contributed 15 runs, Kallis felt it was their intent, more than their runs, that were important. "It showed the guts and determination the guys are willing to put in." While the tail was wagging, Kallis was leaving when it was necessary and hitting the balls he felt deserved to be hit. The key was being aware of his off stump, something that he said is "vital" on the Newlands wicket and only learned from playing here. "It's a matter of experience in the conditions. That's when you'll know when to put your foot on the accelerator and when to hang five."

Kallis struck the delicate balance between the two modes of playing perfectly and revelled in the difficulty of the situation. "I really enjoyed it, it was a big challenge and it was nice to come through it when conditions are against you. I think that's why you play this game. You want to be tested against the best in trying conditions." It was Kallis' third successive century at Newlands, and 39th in all, drawing him level with Ricky Ponting.

The circumstances were tough given the pitch, but Kallis said that batting became easier on day two when "the sun baked the wicket a little bit." Although it's predicted to be bright and hot again on day three, Kallis doesn't think the pitch will start to sprout runs and believes South Africa's bowlers could benefit from it more than India's batsmen. "There's still more than enough on that wicket. Even right at the end there were a few balls going off the straight and narrow."

The first session should set the tone for the day, with Kallis explaining that, "Generally, at Newlands the ball does a little bit more in the morning than in the afternoon." Although he will play no part in South Africa's bowling, he said that if the guys get "two or three wickets, it will make life a lot easier." While the attention is focused on Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, Kallis think its Harris and Tsotsobe that will play a big role. "Lopsy has bowled pretty well throughout the series and had four or five catches put down on his bowling. He's been unlucky."

Kallis thinks batting will stay tough and that "working hard on defensive technique" will be the key. At this stage of the game, he thinks South Africa hold the advantage. "We are still in a very strong position; a little bit ahead of the game, having the runs on the board," but wisely acknowledges "that can change very quickly." Day three is going to be a turning point in the match, one Kallis will be have to be content with watching from the dressing room.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on January 4, 2011, 12:55 GMT

    some guy was sayin the other day that kallis can bat with the tail and sachin cannot.. i have just one thing to say... people speak with words.. sachin the maestro lets his bat do the speaking... so think twice before u comment the GOD of cricket

  • Andy on January 4, 2011, 11:12 GMT

    @ sunilsaripalli- It's Sehwag, not shewag gentleman.

  • Andy on January 4, 2011, 11:10 GMT

    Kallis lacks flavour man.People here are underestimating Sachin.

  • Dummy4 on January 4, 2011, 9:44 GMT

    Great show by kallis on day two.. The way he batted with tail to get to 362 is great. Would have appreciated SRT if he had done same on 1st test to avoid innings defeat.

  • Neelesh on January 4, 2011, 7:53 GMT

    @NRI11...just shooting in the dark won't reap u fruits buddy...sobers 93 tests & 235 wickets...kallis 145 tests & 270 wickets...check strike rate! On batting avg both avg 57...

    now when you compare likes of tendulkar, dravid, ponting...they have averaged almost there and have made their teams no. 1 in some point in their careers...kallis has never done it. U will argue that India got no. 1 coz of playing in home conditions...then why SA have not got to that rank playing in their home conditions...what was kallis doing there...batting and taking wickets I when a man while batting/bowling/feilding can't take their team to no. 1 spot....others do it with just batting...REMEMBER YOU CANNOT COMPARE ANYBODY TO ANYBODY AND CONCLUDE ILLOGICAL STATEMENTS WHICH U HV DONE...

  • Sunil on January 4, 2011, 6:40 GMT

    Hi NRI11, You might need to check few stats on itself before making comments about greats like Pointing, Lara and Tendulkar. You are saying that Shewag has superlative strike rate and average on Australian and English wickets. Do you know how much Sehwag avearges on Australian and English wickets??? Australia (59.50) and England (39.50) where as SRT averages Australia (58.53) and England (62.00). So how can you say that Sehwag has superlative strike rates???. Also consider the era in which Sachin made those runs in Australia and England (players like McGrath and Warne) in peak form and the number of matches he consistently performed. I like Sehwag, on his day he is the best batsman in the world, but you can never say he is the consistent batsman. A final touch Sehwag averages 59 in home tests and 49 in away tests where as SRT average is 57 in home and 56.57 away. And people like SRT, Lara and Pointing have performed at a time where the bowlers had the edge.

  • Dummy4 on January 4, 2011, 6:36 GMT

    @NRI11:you look like one who has been brought up on a diet of crash bang wallop cricket who has no perception of the intricacies and beauty of test cricket.

  • Neelesh on January 4, 2011, 6:00 GMT

    Hmm...why SA is so troubled with Indian legends...commentators and SA media are harsh on Dravid, critical of Tendulkar and find faults in Laxman's technique, accuse Shreeshant of sledging, laugh on saying what India will do when Zaheer retires, Harbhajan is not threating and sarcastically saying "India is no 1 in ranks." India still plays better on seaming wickets compared to SA on turning pitches.

    If seaming wicket is test of a batsmen then spining wicket too. Coming on Kaillis...he is best batsmen of current era along with Sachin, Dravid, Ponting and Lara...what's the big deal!!! Why media not often praise kaillis is coz he had huge runs against Zim/Bangdsh and got a double in 2010...whereas d above mentioned crics have shown their aura time and again...during OZ domination Lara Sachin and Dravid stood out as compared to Kaliis...Kallis never won a world cup for SA whereas Sachin- Dravid almost did it in 2003...ponting won it twice and Lara had no great team, Kaliis always had !!

  • Dinesh on January 4, 2011, 4:27 GMT

    Kallis is one of the best batsmen in the world, i do agree but not better than sachin,punter or lara who lead der teams in both ODI and Test matches.

  • Dummy4 on January 4, 2011, 4:14 GMT

    Kallis is enjoying the form of his life for the past 1-2 years. He is unique in the sense that he is very sound batting technique and is a decent bowler. This has allowed him to become one of the best all-rounders in the game. In fact, he can be considered the only proper all-rounder playing cricket these days.

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