South Africa v India, 1st Test, Johannesburg, 2nd day December 19, 2013

Can Kallis make a U-turn?

He may have hit one of the roughest patches in his career, but Jacques Kallis, in the past, has shown he can recover spectacularly
97

Cullinan: Kallis should assess where his career is

At Mark Boucher's tribute dinner recently, he wished his best friend Jacques Kallis "best of luck for the next 20 years of your international cricket career". Amid laughter Kallis responded he would either stop enjoying it or stop contributing if he keeps playing to offer some reassurance to the audience. Those people may revisit that evening and wonder what Kallis thinks about that quip now.

A golden duck at the Wanderers - only the second of his career - is not a reason to condemn the man widely acknowledged as the best cricketer South Africa has ever produced to retirement. But because it's part of a streak in which he has only gone into double figures only once in the last six Test innings, it is an indication of something worrying.

Kallis has had the leanest Test year in 2013, for years in which he has played more than one match. In seven Tests, he's managed only 160 runs at an average of 16.00. He has not scored a century for the first time in a calendar year since 1997. In the three years preceding this one, he has averaged over 50.00.

More alarming than the sudden dip will be the manner in which he has been dismissed. In the five of his last six Test innings, including today Kallis has been out lbw to deliveries that have come into him, even if only slightly. On every occasion, he has played across the line and been late on the shot.

No example of that was clearer than today. Ishant, having bowled Hashim Amla the ball before, follow-up perfectly. He kept it full and directed it straight. Kallis looked a little slow on the shot, played across and knew he was out as soon as the ball struck the pad.

The method of dismissal could be a reflection of Kallis battling to judge the line quickly enough or simply a sign that he is short on confidence early on in his innings. As one of the most technically correct batsman around, it's likelier it is the second. That would not be too surprising considering the year Kallis has had.

He has been betwixt and between in terms of how he wants to manage what he admits are the twilight years of his career. Having said he wants to play one-day cricket, with the eventual aim of turning in the 2015 World Cup, Kallis initially made himself available for the Champions Trophy. He withdrew on the eve of the squad announcement citing a need for a break.

Since then, he has recommitted to the ODI team but his comeback has not been as successful as he would have liked. After being absent from the fifty-over squad for 19 months from March 2012, he scored a half-century on his comeback against Pakistan, but managed just 26 runs in the three innings after that.

South Africa rested him as soon as the series against both Pakistan and India were decided. While missing out on the Pakistan game with the series lost appeared a genuine attempt in managing Kallis workload, leaving him out of the India game could have been the selectors way of kindly nudging him to the exit sign in that format.

But if Kallis' career needs clipping, that should be the extent for now because Kallis still has plenty to offer in the longest format. He has had lean patches in Tests before - most recently at the end of 2011 when he scored just one half-century in seven innings - and recovered spectacularly. So there is reason to believe he will do it again.

Then, there were also concerns about his reaction times as well, particularly because he was being peppered with short balls by a young, quick Australian pack. Matters came to a head when Kallis recorded his first pair against Sri Lanka in Durban, some said his shelf life was over. Kallis responded with a double hundred in Cape Town and centuries on all three of the tours that followed.

The fourth visit - to the UAE a year later - did not bring the same success. With three single-figure scores and no wickets, statistically Kallis had the worst outing of his career. When Graeme Smith was asked if it was cause for concern, he brushed it off, adamant that the desire to continue playing at the highest level was still high for Kallis. No-one can doubt the hunger remains and the second innings may be the perfect opportunity to begin satiating the appetite.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JoshFromJamRock on December 19, 2013, 20:20 GMT

    Well this is interesting....can't help but make comparisons to Tendulkar.

    From the moment he decided to skip ODIs his form has dipped due to the lack of Test matches being played. (remember Tendulkar post World Cup 2011?)

    This lack of international matches has made the "movement factor" of Test cricket somewhat seem more difficult to handle, especially in South Africa, hence his LBWs. (remember Tendulkar being bowled constantly?)

    I've always considered Kallis a cricketer of much greater worth (not necessarily greatness) than Tendulkar was, as he still averages over 55 with 40+ centuries and still bowls 135Kph+ in Tests matches which is faster than Watson (the best seam bowling allrounder around) and most current bowlers from New Zealand, West Indies, India and Sri Lanka.

    I will give him the benefit of the doubt to make a comeback....however he shouldn't wait until he's 40 to retire. He'll hopefully break Tendulkar's Test records by then :)

  • vantunow on December 19, 2013, 20:17 GMT

    Kallis to me is one of the best cricketers ever, if not the best.

    He threatens Tedulkar's test centuries records, and one of the top runs scorer already and he has taken more wickets than some of the star bowlers whose sole attribute was bowling.

    He is also very close to the top in terms of taking catches. Same goes for Man-of-the-match awards.

    No other cricket comes close to being more complete than him.

    He is a gem.

    If anyone can make a comeback, he would.

  • on December 23, 2013, 22:37 GMT

    One thing you notice about Jacques Kallis is that he tends to go through periods where he doesn't score many runs and then suddenly he'll score five hundreds within a few innings. If you look at his innings you'll see this has happened on five seperate occasions throughout his test career. This tells you that when he gets in he makes his starts count.

  • Diaz54 on December 22, 2013, 18:36 GMT

    Kallis has much to offer. Look how he played in 2nd innings.... Wore being done by the umpire! My favourite player of all time! Pak supporter, but it love watching him. Best batsmen for the last 10 years.

  • srikanths on December 22, 2013, 4:13 GMT

    Without doubt he has been the most valuable player. He was truly one of thos people who could have been selected for his batting alone or his bowling alone. But to be fair , one finds that after 38, the reactions suddenly slow and the fall is precipitous atleast in batting. We saw the same with Sachin Tendulkar. As Boycott says, the margin is just a few inches. That is all the difference between great performances and miserable failures. But if as an Indian, if I can put up with anyone beating SRT , I would say Kallis is the most deserving one, without doubt.Whether he does or not will not change the fact that he is the best all rounder next only to the great Sobers. As far Chanderpaul , somene says that he is great. Agreed he is still paying very well at 39, but greatness has to be measured against the best. His performances in Australia is quite bad. Just does not measure up to an SRT or a Lara

  • humdrum on December 21, 2013, 5:49 GMT

    @swarzi: In 2013 Kallis averages 16 if the commentators are to be believed. Shocking that he has not met your high standards, but am sure he won't lose any sleep over it.

  • zxaar on December 20, 2013, 20:48 GMT

    @ swarzi " Between Apr. 2004 and Dec. 2007, SRT played 32 tests; batted 51 inngs which is a big chunk of his career." --------------- Wrong. Excluding Bangladesh and Zimbwave. Tendulkar played 27 matches and scored 1 hundred and 11 fifties with average of 32. (Much higher than Kallis average of 8 in 2013). Here is according to cricinfo : " filtered 2004-2007 match=27 innings=45 3 1369 109 Average=32.59 2870 47.70 Hundred=1 Fifties=11 1 194 4" ...... For Opposition team Australia remove Australia from query or England remove England from query or New Zealand remove New Zealand from query or Pakistan remove Pakistan from query or South Africa remove South Africa from query or Sri Lanka remove Sri Lanka from query or West Indies remove West Indies from query Start of match date between 1 Apr 2004 and 31 Dec 2007

  • zxaar on December 20, 2013, 20:35 GMT

    @ swarzi , your hero Kallis averaging 8 in last 9 - 10 innings and what were you saying. Here is your quote " a man should show signs of greatness right through his career" . Averaging 8 in 2103 is sure sign of greatness. BTW Tendulkar did not average 8 in any year in life. Try again.

  • Basingrad on December 20, 2013, 13:38 GMT

    Even more than Tendulkar, Kallis has earned the right to go out on his own terms. He is the greatest all-round cricketer of all time. He is not far off Dravid's catching record, he is close to 300 wickets - and still bowling crucial overs in this latest test with Morkel injured - and has over 13,000 runs. I find it highly unlikely that any future Test player will even get close to a 200 catch, 300 wicket, 10,000 run triple.

    He is a phenomenon and it will take more than a poor run of form with the bat for SA to possibly think the team is better without him in it.

  • nzcricket174 on December 20, 2013, 13:37 GMT

    I don't see how you can read into this at all. Every cricketer goes through lean periods. The only reason to get edgy is for somebody like Ricky Ponting, who went through an extended lean patch for a couple of years. Even then, he still averaged over 40 in the last part of his career, which is only poor compared to his overall career.

    Its unfair that just because the player is old and has been great, that people can think of them being replaced or forced to retire. Chances are their replacement will average that same 40 or possibly less.

  • JoshFromJamRock on December 19, 2013, 20:20 GMT

    Well this is interesting....can't help but make comparisons to Tendulkar.

    From the moment he decided to skip ODIs his form has dipped due to the lack of Test matches being played. (remember Tendulkar post World Cup 2011?)

    This lack of international matches has made the "movement factor" of Test cricket somewhat seem more difficult to handle, especially in South Africa, hence his LBWs. (remember Tendulkar being bowled constantly?)

    I've always considered Kallis a cricketer of much greater worth (not necessarily greatness) than Tendulkar was, as he still averages over 55 with 40+ centuries and still bowls 135Kph+ in Tests matches which is faster than Watson (the best seam bowling allrounder around) and most current bowlers from New Zealand, West Indies, India and Sri Lanka.

    I will give him the benefit of the doubt to make a comeback....however he shouldn't wait until he's 40 to retire. He'll hopefully break Tendulkar's Test records by then :)

  • vantunow on December 19, 2013, 20:17 GMT

    Kallis to me is one of the best cricketers ever, if not the best.

    He threatens Tedulkar's test centuries records, and one of the top runs scorer already and he has taken more wickets than some of the star bowlers whose sole attribute was bowling.

    He is also very close to the top in terms of taking catches. Same goes for Man-of-the-match awards.

    No other cricket comes close to being more complete than him.

    He is a gem.

    If anyone can make a comeback, he would.

  • on December 23, 2013, 22:37 GMT

    One thing you notice about Jacques Kallis is that he tends to go through periods where he doesn't score many runs and then suddenly he'll score five hundreds within a few innings. If you look at his innings you'll see this has happened on five seperate occasions throughout his test career. This tells you that when he gets in he makes his starts count.

  • Diaz54 on December 22, 2013, 18:36 GMT

    Kallis has much to offer. Look how he played in 2nd innings.... Wore being done by the umpire! My favourite player of all time! Pak supporter, but it love watching him. Best batsmen for the last 10 years.

  • srikanths on December 22, 2013, 4:13 GMT

    Without doubt he has been the most valuable player. He was truly one of thos people who could have been selected for his batting alone or his bowling alone. But to be fair , one finds that after 38, the reactions suddenly slow and the fall is precipitous atleast in batting. We saw the same with Sachin Tendulkar. As Boycott says, the margin is just a few inches. That is all the difference between great performances and miserable failures. But if as an Indian, if I can put up with anyone beating SRT , I would say Kallis is the most deserving one, without doubt.Whether he does or not will not change the fact that he is the best all rounder next only to the great Sobers. As far Chanderpaul , somene says that he is great. Agreed he is still paying very well at 39, but greatness has to be measured against the best. His performances in Australia is quite bad. Just does not measure up to an SRT or a Lara

  • humdrum on December 21, 2013, 5:49 GMT

    @swarzi: In 2013 Kallis averages 16 if the commentators are to be believed. Shocking that he has not met your high standards, but am sure he won't lose any sleep over it.

  • zxaar on December 20, 2013, 20:48 GMT

    @ swarzi " Between Apr. 2004 and Dec. 2007, SRT played 32 tests; batted 51 inngs which is a big chunk of his career." --------------- Wrong. Excluding Bangladesh and Zimbwave. Tendulkar played 27 matches and scored 1 hundred and 11 fifties with average of 32. (Much higher than Kallis average of 8 in 2013). Here is according to cricinfo : " filtered 2004-2007 match=27 innings=45 3 1369 109 Average=32.59 2870 47.70 Hundred=1 Fifties=11 1 194 4" ...... For Opposition team Australia remove Australia from query or England remove England from query or New Zealand remove New Zealand from query or Pakistan remove Pakistan from query or South Africa remove South Africa from query or Sri Lanka remove Sri Lanka from query or West Indies remove West Indies from query Start of match date between 1 Apr 2004 and 31 Dec 2007

  • zxaar on December 20, 2013, 20:35 GMT

    @ swarzi , your hero Kallis averaging 8 in last 9 - 10 innings and what were you saying. Here is your quote " a man should show signs of greatness right through his career" . Averaging 8 in 2103 is sure sign of greatness. BTW Tendulkar did not average 8 in any year in life. Try again.

  • Basingrad on December 20, 2013, 13:38 GMT

    Even more than Tendulkar, Kallis has earned the right to go out on his own terms. He is the greatest all-round cricketer of all time. He is not far off Dravid's catching record, he is close to 300 wickets - and still bowling crucial overs in this latest test with Morkel injured - and has over 13,000 runs. I find it highly unlikely that any future Test player will even get close to a 200 catch, 300 wicket, 10,000 run triple.

    He is a phenomenon and it will take more than a poor run of form with the bat for SA to possibly think the team is better without him in it.

  • nzcricket174 on December 20, 2013, 13:37 GMT

    I don't see how you can read into this at all. Every cricketer goes through lean periods. The only reason to get edgy is for somebody like Ricky Ponting, who went through an extended lean patch for a couple of years. Even then, he still averaged over 40 in the last part of his career, which is only poor compared to his overall career.

    Its unfair that just because the player is old and has been great, that people can think of them being replaced or forced to retire. Chances are their replacement will average that same 40 or possibly less.

  • swarzi on December 20, 2013, 13:08 GMT

    sachin_vvsfan, there's no need for hostility in discussing these people who entertain us! We just need to be fair to all of them. It's unfair to sit in commentary boots or write in the media, about how great some are, when they're in no way better than those that are being ignored. Eg: When SRT was not able to cope with the best in the business, and thus, had to settle for mediocrity (playing regularly against Bang) to inflate his record, Chanderpaul played against everybody throughout his career, with flying colours! Now in his 40th year, Shiv is hooking and pulling fast bowlers, just as if he's 18, while since at age 38 SRT seemed not to be able to get the ball off the square; but people still want to say that he's greater than Chanderpaul - I don't agree - a man should show signs of greatness right through his career! Between Apr. 2004 and Dec. 2007, SRT played 32 tests; batted 51 inngs which is a big chunk of his career. But he only scored 100s vs Bang and avgd 24 in 2006! TRUTH!

  • AltafPatel on December 20, 2013, 12:53 GMT

    It's time to replace Duminy with Elgar after continuous flop show at crucial time of the games.

  • on December 20, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    he will be back stronger than ever.

  • mnh126 on December 20, 2013, 12:28 GMT

    Jacques Kallis is the best cricketer I have ever seen, in my life time, he can bat, he can bowl and he can catch/field to any Test team he would be worth his weigh in gold. I believe he is having a poor run of form and as the saying goes form is temporary, class is permanent so he will come back to his best very soon. How much more we see of him, I don't know, he is definitely in the twilight of his career and I for one will miss him when he is gone and I think he will only get the recognition he deserves when he is not around any more. This man is a true legend of the game and without wishing to upset too many people I would say he is the best all rounder to have ever played the game - if he was English he would have already been Knighted!

  • jonesy2 on December 20, 2013, 11:14 GMT

    nothing worrying or alarming. he is 38 years old and hence very close to retiring or at least should be. of course he is going to start struggling it happens to the greatest, it happened to Sachin, it happen to Ricky and its happening to Jacques.

  • on December 20, 2013, 10:00 GMT

    2013: The first time since 2002 Roger Federer has not made it to a major final. 2013: The first time since 1997 Jacques Kallis has not scored a century in a year. Early 2014 would prove a very decisive year for both athletes

  • iceaxe on December 20, 2013, 9:40 GMT

    Kallis certainly has gone off the boil. His IPL this year was mediocre, bordering bad. Maybe his eyesight is diminishing? I'd hate to see him ousted due to poor form, but it may yet happen. Please please prove us wrong!

  • mahjut on December 20, 2013, 9:14 GMT

    ZCFOutkast - although I agree to some extent about Ntini v Polly's respective ends. Polly was performing with the bat and Ntini's last 4 test wickets came at almost 100 per wicket.

    SurlyC - I think Alviro's name was regularly bandied about before this test (correctly so) but the difference is his dip in form (overall ave of 37 to 17) loses SA and ave of, what, 20 runs per innings while Kallis' dip (56 to 16) means they lose up to 40 runs per innings.

    Kallis has been one of my two favourite cricketers (Smith being the other) but it's certainly time to go...

  • on December 20, 2013, 9:05 GMT

    Totally agree with Vantunow - Kallis is quite simply the best cricketer who has ever played the game. Whatever format you look at - Test, ODI, T20 - he can boast heaps of runs, stacks of wickets and plenty of catches. It's astonishing and outrageous that more commentators don't recognise this. Remember too that unlike the great all-rounders of history - and there have been plenty - none of them batted high up the order like Kallis has. It's entirely up to him when he chooses to stop, and regardless of when that is, he will be able to hold his head high. There will never be another like him.

  • timtom on December 20, 2013, 8:54 GMT

    Kallis is not going anywhere. History will repeat. He will regain form with help from indian bowlers from next inning. His make or die series will be with Austratia.

  • on December 20, 2013, 8:14 GMT

    Alex, India carried Tendulkar to their detriment. matches were lost trying to carry him to the 100 th ton. I don't think that's worth it. particularly because South Africa has an awesome team that should be totally dominating world cricket like Australia and the West indies before them.

  • on December 20, 2013, 8:11 GMT

    I am saying same what I have said about Tendulkar, leave kallis alone, let him take things match after match & series after series. He is an all rounder & good thing is that he is providing a balance to the test team. India has a relatively weak bowling attack, he has an opportunity to gain form in next inning but his real test will be against Aus. So just wait for 3-4 more test matches before assessing him & yes 1 thing is certain, there will be decline from here. 38 years is the usual age of retirement for all great players and barring few exceptions like chanderpaul we have seen a dip in the career of all greats after 38.

  • pitch_curator on December 20, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    @ Swarzi - Just some facts for you - Kallis averages 170 against Zim and 80 against Bangladesh. Chanderpaul has an average of 104 against BD and played 8 tests against them. He averages 30 in Australia over 11 matches. So, it is not as if Tendulkar is the only one playing against weak teams. Using statsguru and perspective can save you a lot of embarrassment.

  • Alexk400 on December 20, 2013, 7:39 GMT

    Tendulkar got carried by BCCI for 3 years , why not SA carry kallis until he regain his form. he can break sachin records. Lets keep kallis 3 more years.

  • Alexk400 on December 20, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    I hope he makes century and i want him play 10 more years. he has body of bull.

  • CherryWood_Champion on December 20, 2013, 7:32 GMT

    Records are meant to be broken ... whether Kallis will be able to break the number of centuries currently held by SRT will be decided in a year or two. Question is how soon can he be back in form ... facing Indian bowlers would be an ideal situation to do that.

  • deoshatwar on December 20, 2013, 7:19 GMT

    This makes it 'three' at least: Tendulkar getting out LBW or bowled, Dravid getting out bowled all the time at end of their careers; and now Jack. How I wish he does not have the same infection as the first two, it ended two illustrious careers. Does it also mean that inability to handle the incoming delivery successfully consistently is an alarming sign for a technically correct ageing batsman? Is this also a warning for batsmen who are in early thirties that such situations may arise for them and they should try and find a way around this problem?

  • AltafPatel on December 20, 2013, 7:05 GMT

    It's time for Kallis to call upon a day making this last series He scored only half century in last 5 test innings with 2 first-ball ducks. Same holds for Smith in ODIs.

  • AJ_Tiger86 on December 20, 2013, 6:57 GMT

    Kallis should retire before people start calling for his head. It will be a shame if such a great cricketer had to be dropped.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 20, 2013, 6:54 GMT

    Truth is bitter. No, he can't. As an Indian, I can see it. It'll be tough for SAans to see the obvious. Emotions can cloud our judgment. Kallis has been a great player for years. The best complete cricketer after Sobers. But not anymore. He might have an occasional good one here and there but they will be few and far in between. Father time spares nobody.

  • on December 20, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    The pressure on Kallis hinges, in many ways, to SA's performance. SA didn't asserted themselves as a the No.1 test side in the Pak series and this Ind series so far. In ODIs they have been patchy, losing against Pak but beating India. If they continue to perform below expectations, there could be pressure on the older players. Smith is already under pressure in ODIs. Kallis could be next.

  • stormy16 on December 20, 2013, 6:31 GMT

    "widely regarded as the best cricketer SA ever produced" - I would re-phrase to be the "greatest cricker the world has seen"!! It constantly amazed me how little credit Kallis gets. Sobers is (was?) widely regarded as the best cricker ever (not batsman but cricker - there is a difference Sachin and Bradman fans) but Kallis outruns Sobers easily on all fronts and is surely the greatest cricketer ever - so lets call him that please.

    Agreed Kallis has had a lean trott but he also hasnt played much cricket. I understand the subject being raised but surely this can only be considered at the end of the summer. The man deserves a chance to get some game time. He has clearly committed to the 2015 WC so he is committed so lets given him a chance. Dont just focus on his duck, he got the most critical wicket in the game - the only man to score a hundred and Kholi didnt look like getting out and could have taken the game away from SA quickly but Kallis got the all important wicket.

  • on December 20, 2013, 6:29 GMT

    Organise a tour against West Indies I am certain he will find form in no time at all... He might even score back to back to back centuries or double centuries

  • on December 20, 2013, 6:25 GMT

    @swarzi. SRT records , kallis can't even chase them in dreams.. no doubt kallis is a legend. but sachin is greatest

  • Deepakrio278 on December 20, 2013, 6:19 GMT

    Kallis to me and my brother is the best All rounder in cricket.He is the complete cricketer.He has hit rough patches but this one seems long because he has not played ODIs for a while.But his ambition to play World cup 2015 baffles me.He is not in good form.His hand eye co-ordination has dropped.And he is causing several problems in the ODI line-up's middle order. Retired players like Pollock,Cullinan and Dippenear have already said they dont see a future for him there.If he decides to hang up hi boots in ODIs it would be good for youngsters like Ingram and Miller. I just want this legend to get what he deserves and he has to prove again why he is the legend i know him to be to all those who question him. More than 20000 runs and 500 wickets as a player.U do not and will not get many players like him for years ans SA were lucky and gifted to have his services at their disposal.

  • on December 20, 2013, 6:06 GMT

    Playing India is the best way for an out of form batsman to come back. Even in terminal decline, Ricky Ponting scored one of his most prolific series against India in Australia.

  • Milkman on December 20, 2013, 6:03 GMT

    Have to agree with some South African commentators' opinions that the lack of cricket (due to "managing his workload") is possibly causing this drop in form. Maybe King Kallis should consider upping the amount of games (in all formats) he plays until the machine is oiled again. One of the greatest and most underrated cricketers of all time.

  • ZCFOutkast on December 20, 2013, 6:02 GMT

    Drop him quickly. Same goes for Alviro. Afterall, it's not like Ntini was carried over the line as His Highness Polly was. No more favours. If Kallis won't be dropped, then Alviro won't be dropped, simple as that! Amla opens with the lumberjack and AB goes up to three: 1Smith, 2Amla, 3AB, 4Elgar, 5Faf/van Zyl, 6Bavuma, 7de Kock(wk), 8Philander, 9Steyn, 10Morkel, 11Tahir.

  • pitch_curator on December 20, 2013, 5:43 GMT

    Sad to see him struggle. I think with all the top players now a days - Ponting, Sachin and now Kallis the problem is that their bodies have given up but their minds are still keen to continue. Right through their careers from childhood, they would have been trained to not give up at any stage and believe in themselves. It is this kind of mental conditioning that is going against them at the twilight of their careers preventing them from going out gracefully. I hope Kallis reads the writing on the wall. And it is not as if SAF do not have any backups. They have a few good options waiting in the wings. Irrespective of the numbers he retires on, he will go down as one of the top 3 allrounders to have played the game.

  • sachin_vvsfan on December 20, 2013, 5:33 GMT

    @swarzi We can understand your frustration. Tendulkar had elbow injury and didn't play too many games in the period you mentioned. However as far as i remember his average never dropped below 30 in that period(the so called biggest slump of form all time LOL). India never invited BD due to market reasons but rather played in BD because that was more financially viable (not for BCCI but for BD) and it was BD's request after their win in WC 2007 against India.

    Now please tell me how many 100s did chanderpaul score in Aus or Eng Sure he has been playing long time. Sure he has inflated avg against Indian bowlers like Kallis(No i mean no disrespect to kallis) Just saying that your hatred for Sachin (or India) has blinded you that you write this rubbish with out checking facts.

  • JBSA on December 20, 2013, 5:16 GMT

    Its very apparent the age is getting to him. But Kallis can defy it, if he can focus more on his batting than trying to be an all rounder. Just consider him a top order batsman. A injury due to bowling can end his career and also distraction due to bowling can be the reason for his batting slump. Hope Kallis regains and chases Sachin's Record

  • Micky.Panda on December 20, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    Kallis along with Garfield Sobers, are probably the greatest test all-rounders of all time of the "batting" all rounder variety where their batting dominates. Other greats like Imran, S Pollock, K Miller are obvious gold in the bowling oriented type. Kallis has also been a rock type of batsmen in ODIs and T20, good for a tough pitch. Actually he is not suited to T20 very well as his slow strike rate means that a big score almost guarantees the side a loss due to not making enough runs in the 20 overs. His ODI run rate is also not good enough. In these formats he doesn't really understand "playing for the team". If Kallis cannot find form now in test batting, perhaps his eyesight or reactions are going down hill, then he should retire completely. That may be best for the team. Not wise to do a Tendulkar or Ponting (to a lesser extent) and try to keep hanging on. Kallis has nothing left to prove, except for obtaining a great strike rate in shorter formats (like Watson does).

  • on December 20, 2013, 4:59 GMT

    I would not say that he is one of the best in the business but would say He is the greatest Test Batsman this time. Not a single player from all test playing countries can be compared with this Legend. He is never out of form for sure. He has all shots in his dictionary but this is all about the timing. He was in and out of the team and did not play on a International level for long and of course continuously. He made his place in the team by his career statistics. Absolute Gem and always love to see on the ground. He was Great and will remain Great in my mind for even....Jacques Kallis Take a Bow.....

  • Gupta.Ankur on December 20, 2013, 4:52 GMT

    I am really sick and tired of people bringing in SRT's name in every discussion and than proceeding to malign him.

    Kallis was never the best batsman and never the best bowler of the world and he has very rarely won SA matches single-handedly.

    His worth gets over-emphasised only because of the wickets he took in early part of his carrer and easing out of tracks since 2000's + some of the great fast bowlers of the 90's retiring.

    Kallis is also extremely unfit and his scoring rate has gone down further with the slump in form.

  • Enthusiast_Cricket on December 20, 2013, 4:38 GMT

    No disrespect to Kallis. To me, he is the best all-rounder I've seen.

    But him breaking Tendulkar's test records is a bit stretch. I've done very basic calculations. To break both runs and centuries, Kallis needs to play really well for at least 40 innings, in turn at least 20-25 tests. That roughly translates to 2-3 years of cricket based on the FTP. I do not think he will be able to sustain till that time considering his age and 2015 ODI WC.

    I think, he will be able to play till 2015 WC which just a year and few months away.

  • on December 20, 2013, 4:37 GMT

    Kallis is always great cricketer and match winner. He made 44 test centuries in his career next to sachin. Not easy to play in 38 has all-rounder.

  • landl47 on December 20, 2013, 4:35 GMT

    The difference between this and previous slumps is that this time he's 38 years old. Reaction time slows down and at test level you just can't afford that.

    It's been a great career. It would be a shame to see him playing on as a shadow of the player he once was.

  • Philippe on December 20, 2013, 4:21 GMT

    If SRT's form can drop after age of 37-38 & Rahul dravid can get out 7 times in tests in succession... then i assume that its only age factor with kallis. May be his passion to play cricket is their but he will have to admit that reflexes really go down wen you cross your 35 years... good luck kallis... u r one of the greats of this era...

  • CaptTamilmani on December 20, 2013, 4:15 GMT

    All said and done , lets stop nagging at someone's performance and stand with him during his bad patch, let the greats at the commentary box go out there and sprek to "King Kallis" and see how they can bail him out -- Remember the same thing was done to Sachin that everyone started when was his last test and finally when he arrived all started crying - So Come on mates lets stand united at the times and help the Big man to paly until he wanna play and cheer him off with the Silverware which the big fellow wants to add to his kitty - Lets pray that the Lord Helps him to carry on his good work until he feels like - COME ON KING KALLIS YOU HAVE DONE IT AND U CAN DO IT AGAIN - Cheers!

  • swarzi on December 20, 2013, 4:09 GMT

    Why all this alarm? All Kallis has to do with this MINI SLUMP is to do what Tendulkar used to do when he had his MEGA SLUMPS (THE GREATEST SLUMPS OF ALL TIME) - that is, have his matches arranged against Bangladesh! He had one of theses mega slumps between Apr. 2004 and Dec. 2007 (almost 4 consecutive years), when he could score runs against Bangladesh only! He even had a test series arranged against them in MAY, 2007, in Bang, outside of their cricket season! But I heard no alarm. Then 2011 to 2013 (3 years less 1 month) Sachin tried in 40 inngs to score a 100, and failed, even though WI toothless attack was invited for him to do so in his last series! Hence, Kallis would get over his MINI DROUGHT. People are still saying how great SRT is; and Kallis would still be seen as great too. But while they are said to be so great, you hardly hear anything about "the most consistent batsman of All Time" Shiv Chandetpaul, who is still hooking, etc and scoring 100s at will, at age 40! Funny eh!

  • on December 20, 2013, 3:58 GMT

    Jacques is the all Time best South African Batsman. He proves Lot of Time to his Country .He is the only Player can break the Sachin's Most Centuries in Test. He will break the Record soon. He will back in form in quick time. So Don't Blame on his Form........ he is a real Match winner.....

  • himanshu.team on December 20, 2013, 3:15 GMT

    Kallis is a champion player and without doubt the most respect cricketer SA have produced after coming back to playing international cricket. However, he has crossed the age of 38, still plays as an all rounder and his workload, despite some breaks here and there, will increase as he ages. At this stage of his career Tendulkar decided that he would not play ODIs and within a year after that he took a retirement. While Kallis did bounce back from lean patches earlier, as you grow older, it becomes more and more difficult to do. I would wait for this series to get over. If he continues to fail in the three innings possible, then he must seriously consider his options.

  • on December 20, 2013, 3:12 GMT

    Seriously?? Kallis' place is is being questioned?? This is arguably the greatest all rounder cricket has ever seen and as a Sri Lankan I have always marvelled at his fitness and talent. He should be given a long rope. If Sachin was given two years to decide on retirement when he was clearly past his sell by date, Kallis should get at least one. Actually I wonder if Kallis would not have been acknowledged as the greatest cricketer of the modern era if he had been from Ind, Eng or Aus. But unfortunately he's from SA.

  • on December 20, 2013, 3:03 GMT

    Although the hunger to play remains intact in great players yet the stamina to score big runs wanes.Its very difficult for the player to accept this hard fact.By the time they recognise this there career averages stand badly affected and reputation jolted.See the cases of Ponting and Sachin.So it would be wise of Jack to assess his physico-mental strength as early as possible and not to depart the way their aforesaid contemporary greats did.

  • jimbond on December 20, 2013, 2:49 GMT

    Its only journos without work who will question the place of Kallis in any test side after one or two bad innings. It is only because of him that SA have the luxury of playing Tahir in this team. Kallis may even have a role in ODIs especially on pitches where scoring is not easy.

  • on December 20, 2013, 2:42 GMT

    If SA team is changing and needs a stabilizing factor for its batting line up, then may be he should be persisted with as his contribution can not be measured only in terms of runs. But SA has Smith, Amla and others who have been around and delivered, and would be seen around for some more time. And if there is sufficient young talents, he should make way and take to next roles in administration or commentating!

  • on December 20, 2013, 2:33 GMT

    Sad but inevitable. There is a time to go for everyone. His recent dismissals clearly indicate a slow down of reflexes. Perhaps it is time to move on. The South African system is much more professional then subcontinent administration and it would be a pity that they give such a great player the boot, so maybe he should himself retire with dignity.

  • SHER-A-PANJAB on December 20, 2013, 2:29 GMT

    KAllis looks under some kind of pressure that is not seeming like game one .there are some other thing..?? Good luck

  • on December 20, 2013, 2:25 GMT

    Kallis' run drought reminds me of Ponting's during the end of his career.Jacques will have to reassess where he stands at the end of the India series and take a call before the Australia series.

  • anupkeni on December 20, 2013, 2:13 GMT

    Looks like Jacques Kallis want to break Sachin Tendulkar's record of 200 test matches and 51 test centuries. It may not be easy for Kallis. He has played only 165 test matches at this stage. So 200 test matches is 35 test matches away and that is a lot of cricket, which could be another 3-4 years. By which time Kallis would be 41. So playing 200 test matches cannot be a realistic possibility for Kallis. But he could break Steve Waugh's and Ricky Ponting's joint record of 168 test matches and become the second highest capped player in test cricket after Tendulkar. After Kallis retires, the India-South Africa test series should be named either as Gandhi-Mandela trophy or Tendulkar-Kallis trophy.

  • inswing on December 20, 2013, 2:03 GMT

    SA face now what India faced with SRT and Dravid. It is not a "lean patch", it is time when a great player is no longer great and is not going to get any better at 38.

  • CricketChat on December 20, 2013, 1:46 GMT

    Kallis should retire gracefully. Based on fitness and form alone, he is no longer an automatic choice. Hope he won't drag on.

  • nareshgb1 on December 20, 2013, 1:37 GMT

    I said it a month back when Kallis was playing ODIs - at best he will get a couple of fifties if he plays another year. He's done, finished. He has dropped catches at slip (Hayden started doing that in his last 5 tests), he got hit on the helmet by a Sri Lankan bowler last year (beat that), and now he is getting out LBW (like Ricky was, before Indian bowlers gifted him that 200).

    No chance of Kallis coming back from here. He has exceeded his talent for many years - and will find it hard from here on.

  • on December 20, 2013, 1:09 GMT

    When he scores he hardly gets appreciated but when he hits a rough patch every one questions his ability, he is the most underrated player to play the game.When Kallis plays for a team he is the best player for you and than the pressure of retirement is hurting and taking a toll out of his performance. But i'm sure he will bounce back strongly either with the bat or with the ball sooner in this series to silence the critics.

  • nlambda on December 20, 2013, 0:03 GMT

    If you get out 1st ball to Ishant Sharma - THE Ishant Sharma - then you know your form is in the doldrums ;-)

  • vik56in on December 19, 2013, 23:35 GMT

    Kallis is the greatest allrounder in cricket.Even Sobers doesn't has Kallis stats.But he should be careful not to extend his career like Ponting or Sachin.Sachin in the fag end of his career was playing for BCCI,his 100th century and 200th Test.No wonder Sachin avg was only 34 in his last 25 Tests.Kallis should be careful not to repeat the mistakes of Tendulkar and Ponting

  • xylo on December 19, 2013, 23:23 GMT

    Maybe it is time for CSA to set up a quick tour by the West Indies/Bangladesh to try and inflate his average, and retire on a high? What a load of you-know-what this article is. This guy is still bowling well, as opposed to the ex-#4 of the opposition team.

  • pommy80 on December 19, 2013, 23:07 GMT

    He got a rare good ball from Sharma. I'm sure he will regain confidence and become a top player

  • QTS_ on December 19, 2013, 22:45 GMT

    Kallis recently turned 38. At the age of 38 in April 2011, Tendulkar started waning. Kallis might be at the same stage as Tendulkar in April 2011.

  • Kolpak1989 on December 19, 2013, 22:43 GMT

    There have been four outstanding players of the 1990-2000's period. Tendulkar, Lara, Ponting and Kallis. Kallis is an absolute colossus and deserves to go out on a high. I hope we don't see him play beyond hid shelf date and get dominated by bowlers who would have been nowhere near his class when he was in his prime like what happened to Sachin and Punter. Know when to go Jacques.

  • sk123 on December 19, 2013, 22:38 GMT

    ha ha ... How poor Kallis wished Tendulkar was still playing. He wouldn't have been on top of the media's "Retirement" list. I hope Chandrapaul is encouraging Kallis to keep playing - or he'll be next on that list!

    Pieterson and Cook have only averaged in 30s this year and Watson's "career" average is in 30s. Wonder why no one questions their reflexes.

    In form or not, Tendulkar and Kallis still performed better that 60% of the batsmen in the international cricket in last 2 years - just saying - and no, I don't have any stats to prove that!

  • on December 19, 2013, 22:30 GMT

    Kallis is most senior player now in world cricket .. Let him to enjoy the game ....

  • S.Jagernath on December 19, 2013, 22:26 GMT

    Jacques Kallis is 38 now,Sachin Tendulkar also saw a drop in form at 38 too.The simple fact is that cricket is very competitive these days & age becomes a factor as cricketers age.Kallis may well get in at some point & get another hundred,but maybe the consistency will be rare.Retirement should not even be considered right now,he has two more years.

  • on December 19, 2013, 22:08 GMT

    Kallis fans and critics alike have to understand that top international cricketers(batsmen) have lean patches and get ducks so he is absolutely no different in that respect. All players go through it so I've absolutely no doubt that he can turn it around but to do it I'd like to see him play more (or as much as he can) because he is an obvious confidence and momentum player. At the top of his game & IMHO there is still no better white batsman in the world because he has the record and stats to prove it. His bowling is clearly not as influential and/or penetrative as it once was but if you are still averaging approx 55 at No.4 with the bat in tests and can throw the ball to someone with nearly 300 test wicktes second or third change then I know who would be the first name on my team sheet!

  • kensohatter on December 19, 2013, 21:16 GMT

    Think we are seing something similiar to Ponting and Gilchrists issue shortly before their retirements. Ponting claimed he felt he was slow to react to the ball and Gilchrist felt similar stating something like he was half a step behind in reaction time. It happens as we get older and slowly these weaknesses will be exposed by quick bowlers. Kallis has been an absolute rock for south africa and surely one of the finest all rounders ever produced but with a series against mitchell johnson around the corner maybe the time is now. Playing him at 6 is an option especially if he is keen to hit his 300 wicket mark but i fear anothr great of the game will have to retire at some point in 2014 whether he likes it or not. I only hope he can do so in a blaze of glory with one last century.

  • EverybodylovesSachin on December 19, 2013, 21:16 GMT

    Kallis should have retired before Sachin the way he batted this year and he is not an 100 percent all rounder.

  • righthandbat on December 19, 2013, 21:10 GMT

    Kallis retiring at the end of the Australian series would be about the right time for him to end his illustrious test career. He could announce it before the series and have a proper send-off in SA. He is capable of returning to form, but after watching all the modern batting greats retire one-by-one, they all have that dip in form. He could do what Ponting did and play out some first-class matches in addition to his ODI play.

  • gsingh7 on December 19, 2013, 21:08 GMT

    have to admit his test career is over as his reflexes are waning. it will be shame that he cud not cross even rahul dravid in runs made when some were hoping him to challenge sachin's 15950 runs. his recent form does not deserve him place in test team. but he has been best all rounder in past . time to hang up boots for kallis.

  • Rohit... on December 19, 2013, 21:06 GMT

    How can you drop the person who stopped Kohli??? There is no way Kallis will be left out of the squad.

  • RoyRulez on December 19, 2013, 21:00 GMT

    It's really difficult to think of a team without JHK but may be the time has come...

    I hope he proves me wrong in the second essay!!!

  • bigdhonifan on December 19, 2013, 20:51 GMT

    @Dark_Harlequin Kallis is just a home track bully. If you talk about top 5 bats of last 5 years it will be Sachin, Lara, Ponting, Dravid and Inzamam

  • gujratwalla on December 19, 2013, 20:39 GMT

    Kallis has served South Africa superbly for many years but her is now 38 and although still a first class all rounder his reflexes have slowed down.I think he is aware of his situation and even more aware that it would be better for him to make up his mind to call it a day.With his recent form in mind South Africa should blood new players now so that when he retires they will have a ready replacement.Kallis is the greatest all rounder ever produced by South Africa but his time is nearing to its end.

  • mrmonty on December 19, 2013, 20:23 GMT

    @Dark_Harlequin, I agree that they should swap Kallis' position with somebody with similar temperament , may be Faf. He is just too precious for SA to be chopped after a few failures. He scored a bucketful at 60-plus avg last year. But, one has to wonder if he is another victim of round-year cricket (thanks to IPL) fatigue.

  • mahjut on December 19, 2013, 20:03 GMT

    I reckon it's time to give the ODI allrounder a go (I can't believe I've forgotten his name!!). Love Kallis but defo time to hang up the boots!

    McLaren was his name ... and maybe, just maybe, QdK for Alviro

  • Harlequin. on December 19, 2013, 19:13 GMT

    There is little doubt that Kallis is the greatest player of the last 20 years: batting ability equal or better to Tendulkar & Ponting, as well as enough skill with the ball to be picked for his bowling alone. Because of his bowling, SA have the option to move him down the order which is what I would do if I were them. Play Kallis at 6 and move a youngster to 3 who could benefit from JK's experience playing in the same team for his last couple of years.

  • Fan1969 on December 19, 2013, 19:05 GMT

    Kallis is an all time great and would strongly suggest to everyone that the man be given his due respect and space. Let him decide when he calls quits, now or after 2-3 years. With these greats you never know when they start doing well again.

    Kallis deserves all the respect. The world may not see another like Sobers, Kallis for a long time so let us sit and enjoy and not advise an all time great. A great admirer from India.

  • BradmanBestEver on December 19, 2013, 19:00 GMT

    The best batsman of the past 20 years. And he achieved such a good average over a long period while having a major role in the bowling and fielding departments - so he was not "resting" on the boundary but in the thick of the action.

    He rightly deserves his place as No.1 batsman since Sobers and G. Pollock

  • Hashimbaig on December 19, 2013, 18:41 GMT

    Cricinfo and this persons who comment on Kallis cant say that about him. He is 38 and Misbah ul haq is 39 is doesnt matter. Kallis is out of form right now thats not because he are 38. Kallis make a comeback against pakistan to step up before the big world cup in 2015. I think he does very well after being out of the one day team in nearly 20 months. He scored a fifty and after that he scored 26 in three innings. That doesnt mean he gonna retire now. He is out of form and i will promise you all on cricinfo and the people in the world that Kallis will be back in form sometime in this series maybe next year. You all cant say that about the master he is a master batsman for the team and he can even play more longere than the 2015 world cup. A player like Kallis will never give up in this kind of situations, so that i say before you all will see kallis class game at some point. Last 10 innings he average 16, but that will happen to a class batsman. I SWEAR KALLIS WILL BE HIMSELF AGAIN.

  • CodandChips on December 19, 2013, 18:34 GMT

    In my opinion, the best of the modern greats. Mastered all formats and has an incredible test batting average in particular. Incredible player. Good luck to him. But because he is South African, he is rarely talked about.

  • Srini_Indian on December 19, 2013, 18:24 GMT

    Kallis is a great player. I don't know whether it is the usual lean patch or slowing down of reflexes but he is still a vital cog of SA team. If he is not batting well, he still bowls 15-20 overs and gives breathing space of other pacers particularly when Imran Tahir bowls his usual rubbish.

    I think he has to play Australia series, if he fails in that, maybe Kallis can think about his future but right now he has to carry on. Things turn pretty quickly.

  • Robeli on December 19, 2013, 18:21 GMT

    'Technical' cricketers should play cricket as much as possible to stay in the zone. If your body can't handle it, retire and go coach. 'Natural' cricketers can take it more easier, as their natural instinct will save them. Kallis needs to play more cricket, not less.

  • drnaveed on December 19, 2013, 18:18 GMT

    SA are lucky to have great all rounders like kallis ( excellent batsman , bowler ,and fielder ) and de Villiers (excellent batsman ,wk /fielder and captain ofcourse ) in their side at the same time ,among the top 5 batsmen.other teams have allounders , but they bat further down the order, but at the same time they are not of any class , close to these two batting giants. he should himself decide when to call it a day, yes , definitely , he is not among runs this year , but so are some other batsmen in the side like du plessis ,peterson and even duminy. kalis is a legend, he should be treated accordingly.

  • iHitWicket on December 19, 2013, 18:15 GMT

    Not able to judge the line correctly for a budding cricketer means that it will be hard for him to develop correct technique. For a cricketer of Kallis experience, not being able to to judge the line quickly enough has to do with eye-body position reflexes going south. Technique has more to do with head, feet, arm position; body posture; initial movement. Reading line doesn't have anything to do with technique - reading line early helps one to get into correct position.

  • mzm149 on December 19, 2013, 18:04 GMT

    South Africa should bring in de Kock in place of Alviro Petersen and Robin Peterson in place of Imran Tahir in next game.

  • RamShankarS on December 19, 2013, 17:56 GMT

    Too early to start this. I would request the media to not make this a big issue and send Kallis packing, as they did with Tendulkar.

  • Warm_Coffee on December 19, 2013, 17:49 GMT

    Its time to move on from Kallis otherwise SA progression will slow down.

  • SurlyCynic on December 19, 2013, 17:49 GMT

    You know who averages less than Kallis over the last 10 innings? Alviro Peterson. Shouldn't he also come under some scrutiny?

    I agree Kallis is coming to the end of his career, but he still provides an important bowling option and took the wicket of Kohli in the Indian innings. I think he has a few innings in him still but we'll see by the end of the Aus series. He and Alviro are both playing for their careers.

  • SurlyCynic on December 19, 2013, 17:49 GMT

    You know who averages less than Kallis over the last 10 innings? Alviro Peterson. Shouldn't he also come under some scrutiny?

    I agree Kallis is coming to the end of his career, but he still provides an important bowling option and took the wicket of Kohli in the Indian innings. I think he has a few innings in him still but we'll see by the end of the Aus series. He and Alviro are both playing for their careers.

  • Warm_Coffee on December 19, 2013, 17:49 GMT

    Its time to move on from Kallis otherwise SA progression will slow down.

  • RamShankarS on December 19, 2013, 17:56 GMT

    Too early to start this. I would request the media to not make this a big issue and send Kallis packing, as they did with Tendulkar.

  • mzm149 on December 19, 2013, 18:04 GMT

    South Africa should bring in de Kock in place of Alviro Petersen and Robin Peterson in place of Imran Tahir in next game.

  • iHitWicket on December 19, 2013, 18:15 GMT

    Not able to judge the line correctly for a budding cricketer means that it will be hard for him to develop correct technique. For a cricketer of Kallis experience, not being able to to judge the line quickly enough has to do with eye-body position reflexes going south. Technique has more to do with head, feet, arm position; body posture; initial movement. Reading line doesn't have anything to do with technique - reading line early helps one to get into correct position.

  • drnaveed on December 19, 2013, 18:18 GMT

    SA are lucky to have great all rounders like kallis ( excellent batsman , bowler ,and fielder ) and de Villiers (excellent batsman ,wk /fielder and captain ofcourse ) in their side at the same time ,among the top 5 batsmen.other teams have allounders , but they bat further down the order, but at the same time they are not of any class , close to these two batting giants. he should himself decide when to call it a day, yes , definitely , he is not among runs this year , but so are some other batsmen in the side like du plessis ,peterson and even duminy. kalis is a legend, he should be treated accordingly.

  • Robeli on December 19, 2013, 18:21 GMT

    'Technical' cricketers should play cricket as much as possible to stay in the zone. If your body can't handle it, retire and go coach. 'Natural' cricketers can take it more easier, as their natural instinct will save them. Kallis needs to play more cricket, not less.

  • Srini_Indian on December 19, 2013, 18:24 GMT

    Kallis is a great player. I don't know whether it is the usual lean patch or slowing down of reflexes but he is still a vital cog of SA team. If he is not batting well, he still bowls 15-20 overs and gives breathing space of other pacers particularly when Imran Tahir bowls his usual rubbish.

    I think he has to play Australia series, if he fails in that, maybe Kallis can think about his future but right now he has to carry on. Things turn pretty quickly.

  • CodandChips on December 19, 2013, 18:34 GMT

    In my opinion, the best of the modern greats. Mastered all formats and has an incredible test batting average in particular. Incredible player. Good luck to him. But because he is South African, he is rarely talked about.

  • Hashimbaig on December 19, 2013, 18:41 GMT

    Cricinfo and this persons who comment on Kallis cant say that about him. He is 38 and Misbah ul haq is 39 is doesnt matter. Kallis is out of form right now thats not because he are 38. Kallis make a comeback against pakistan to step up before the big world cup in 2015. I think he does very well after being out of the one day team in nearly 20 months. He scored a fifty and after that he scored 26 in three innings. That doesnt mean he gonna retire now. He is out of form and i will promise you all on cricinfo and the people in the world that Kallis will be back in form sometime in this series maybe next year. You all cant say that about the master he is a master batsman for the team and he can even play more longere than the 2015 world cup. A player like Kallis will never give up in this kind of situations, so that i say before you all will see kallis class game at some point. Last 10 innings he average 16, but that will happen to a class batsman. I SWEAR KALLIS WILL BE HIMSELF AGAIN.