South Africa v India, 2nd Test, Durban, 4th day December 29, 2013

Kallis passes Dravid, and Jadeja's best

Stats highlights from the fourth day's play of the Durban Test between South Africa and India
27

  • Jacques Kallis made his 45th Test hundred and became the fourth South Africa batsman to score a century in his final Test.

  • Kallis' 115 took his career aggregate to 13,289 runs, the third highest in Tests. He was dismissed just after passing Rahul Dravid's 13,288 and fell 89 short of Ricky Ponting's 13,378. Kallis' average of 55.37 is the second highest after Kumar Sangakkara's 56.98, among batsmen with at least 10,000 Test runs.

  • Kallis also passed 9000 runs batting at No. 4. Only Sachin Tendulkar, with 13,492 runs, has scored more at No. 4. Kallis' average of 61.86 at this position is the best among batsmen who have at least 4000 runs at No. 4.

  • Ravindra Jadeja's figures of 6 for 138 - his second five-for - are his best in Tests. It was also the first five-wicket haul by an India left-arm spinner outside the subcontinent in over 30 years, since Dilip Doshi's 6 for 102 against England at Old Trafford in 1982.

  • Jadeja's haul is the first five-for by a spinner in the first innings in Durban since 2000, when Muttiah Muralitharan took 5 for 122. Before that, a spinner took five wickets in the first innings at this venue in 1964, when England's David Allen took 5 for 41.

  • Jadeja's 58.2 overs in South Africa's innings is the most an India spinner has bowled in Tests outside the subcontinent since Narendra Hirwani bowled 59 overs at The Oval in 1990.

  • The partnership between Faf du Plessis and Robin Peterson gave South Africa's innings much-needed impetus. They scored at 6.11 runs an over - the fastest 100-plus partnership in Tests at Kingsmead (for which balls-recorded data exists). The last time South Africa added 100 or more for the eighth wicket against India was in Johannesburg in 1997, when Daryll Cullinan and Lance Klusener were involved in a match-saving 127-run stand.

  • Peterson's 61 is the second half-century by a South Africa No. 9 since Nicky Boje's 76 against England in Cape Town in 2005. The other fifty was by Kallis in the first innings of the famous draw at the Adelaide Oval last year, when he was batting lower down because of a hamstring injury.

  • South Africa scored 500 or more at this venue for the first time in over five years. The last time they scored 500-plus at Kingsmead was against West Indies in 2008. There have been only six scores of 500 or more by them in 71 innings at this venue.

  • Dale Steyn, du Plessis and Peterson collectively scored 148 runs in the first innings - the most South Africa's No. 7, 8 and 9 have scored in an innings against India.

Shiva Jayaraman is a sub-editor (stats) at ESPNcricinfo.com

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on December 30, 2013, 4:56 GMT

    "The Rock of Gibraltar"- Jacques Kallis played his best innings on the final test of his career to close India out of this test. It will be an ardous task for India to comeback from here. Kallis the best all-rounder of all times. His contribution to the SA cricket and to the world cricket has been phenomenal. A great guy who let his game do the talking. A team man who worked tirelessly for the glory of his team. I would rate him as all time greats along with Tendulkar, Sir. Viv Richards, Sir Garfield Sobers, Allan Border, Sunil Gavaskar. One of the best this world cricket has ever seen. Wish you all the best for the future. The world cricket still needs your services for the betterment of the game...

  • Navin84 on December 31, 2013, 14:06 GMT

    I still believe that Kallis should not have retired from Test cricket, he should have quit ODIs and T20s to prolong his Test Career like Chanderpaul. Not because you had a few bad games you will retire, he is one of the best test cricket has seen.

  • on December 30, 2013, 23:08 GMT

    INTANGIBLES. Cricket is not played in a vacuum. SA always had great players and overall their test teams were among the best. Their fast bowlers were fat better than India's over the last 40 years. SA's success was not pinned to any one player they way Tendulkar was saddled with that responsibility. Kallis is a very good cricketer who was under the radar a lot. He is not a batsman that took the bowling by storm nor was he a bowler who had inspired spells by bowling his team to victory. No doubt he was consistent because he was a role player and expectations of public leadership was not a burden.

  • krishnaaus on December 30, 2013, 11:37 GMT

    @lodhisingh: Every sportsperson gets compared to his/her peers (in every sport) but this does not mean anything in terms of greatness. I never mentioned Dravid keeping wickets in tests. What i meant was Dravid not only contributed with the bat but also in other key aspects of the game. Keeping in ODI does affect the workload and injuries. Kallis will be go down as the greatest cricketer in his generation for one simple reason. His batting, bowling and fielding was as good as any top batsmen, bowler and fielder and these are illustrated in his stats acquired over a 18 year illustrious career.

  • on December 30, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    A great batsman, as compared to Sachin Tendulkar he was a big player, beacuse he is not only batsman, he is also a bowler... In cricket history we cant found such a big player.

  • Rumy1 on December 30, 2013, 8:30 GMT

    With malice or bias towards none, Kallis is arguably the greatest cricketer of the modern era. As a batsman he has a better Test career average and a better century per innings rate than our own master blaster SRT. Moreover, Kallis batting at No.4 position has a better Test average than SRT. If we look at ODi records, Kallis has an equally good batting average of 44.8 as SRT. Plus, Kallis is going at a high unlike SRT who would have lost his place at least a year ago but for BCCI's kindness. As a bowler Kallis has a better average than the likes of Sobers, our own Zaheer Khan and Bhajji. With the third highest Test run aggregate, second highest number of Test centuries, second highest number of Test catches and 292 Test wickets to his name, Kallis rides above any other cricketer of the modern era.

  • Lodhisingh on December 30, 2013, 7:31 GMT

    @ India_boy, not sure what cricket u were watching mate, but before the double ponting got against india, he averaged in the mid 30s for 3 years about 32 tests. not sure if that is enough by your standards? seems to be enough though. and dont talk about capatincy and other stuff when u r talking about batting form and records mate. sachin's slump was much smaller than ponting's. and just u calling sachin as one who did not play for the team does not account to anything. we all heard and saw the current team and the former players and all the indian public(barring few like urself) had to say about sachin when he retired.

  • India_boy on December 30, 2013, 6:52 GMT

    @lodhisingh...Punter was out of form but not so drastically that he couldn't score a century for 3 years. In fact just prior to his retirement he scored a century against India. Kallis scored a century after just 1 lean year. This is the first time since 1996 that he didn't score a century all year. You talk of Hussain, at least he was a shrewd captain if nothing else. Same with Mark Taylor, and the less you criticise S. Waugh, the better, SRt wasn't even a shadow on the team and crisis man that Waugh was. Atherton and Stewart were the only 2 international level players in Eng team which is why they were played for so long. But SRT? he had 3 massively lean periods during which he would have been dropped if he was in any other team. He never played for the team, during a crisis, changed his positions, in 4th inns., nothing to show that he was a quality batsman (apart from meaningless centuries against tame attacks on batting paradise that didn't really help the team)

  • Lodhisingh on December 30, 2013, 6:35 GMT

    @ krishnaaus, nothing to take away from kallis or dravid mate. they are greats too. but, how many analaysis have u seen or how many comments from experts have u heard where kallis or dravid were not compared to sachin to show how great they are? and..dravid never kept wickets in tests mate. so it is not accurate to bring that stat into the picture.

  • gracegift on December 30, 2013, 6:30 GMT

    There are many who can lay claim to being the best batsmen over the last 2 decades, the Tendulkars, Laras etc. or the best bowlers, Muralis, McGrath, Akram etc. But there's only player who could lay claim to being the greatest cricketer during this time, and he's Jacques Kallis. Nearly 300 wickets as a pace bowler at an average better than Zaheer Khan, 200 catches and the small matter of 13,000 plus runs at 55 per innings. Don't think there'll be another like him for a long time.

  • on December 30, 2013, 4:56 GMT

    "The Rock of Gibraltar"- Jacques Kallis played his best innings on the final test of his career to close India out of this test. It will be an ardous task for India to comeback from here. Kallis the best all-rounder of all times. His contribution to the SA cricket and to the world cricket has been phenomenal. A great guy who let his game do the talking. A team man who worked tirelessly for the glory of his team. I would rate him as all time greats along with Tendulkar, Sir. Viv Richards, Sir Garfield Sobers, Allan Border, Sunil Gavaskar. One of the best this world cricket has ever seen. Wish you all the best for the future. The world cricket still needs your services for the betterment of the game...

  • Navin84 on December 31, 2013, 14:06 GMT

    I still believe that Kallis should not have retired from Test cricket, he should have quit ODIs and T20s to prolong his Test Career like Chanderpaul. Not because you had a few bad games you will retire, he is one of the best test cricket has seen.

  • on December 30, 2013, 23:08 GMT

    INTANGIBLES. Cricket is not played in a vacuum. SA always had great players and overall their test teams were among the best. Their fast bowlers were fat better than India's over the last 40 years. SA's success was not pinned to any one player they way Tendulkar was saddled with that responsibility. Kallis is a very good cricketer who was under the radar a lot. He is not a batsman that took the bowling by storm nor was he a bowler who had inspired spells by bowling his team to victory. No doubt he was consistent because he was a role player and expectations of public leadership was not a burden.

  • krishnaaus on December 30, 2013, 11:37 GMT

    @lodhisingh: Every sportsperson gets compared to his/her peers (in every sport) but this does not mean anything in terms of greatness. I never mentioned Dravid keeping wickets in tests. What i meant was Dravid not only contributed with the bat but also in other key aspects of the game. Keeping in ODI does affect the workload and injuries. Kallis will be go down as the greatest cricketer in his generation for one simple reason. His batting, bowling and fielding was as good as any top batsmen, bowler and fielder and these are illustrated in his stats acquired over a 18 year illustrious career.

  • on December 30, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    A great batsman, as compared to Sachin Tendulkar he was a big player, beacuse he is not only batsman, he is also a bowler... In cricket history we cant found such a big player.

  • Rumy1 on December 30, 2013, 8:30 GMT

    With malice or bias towards none, Kallis is arguably the greatest cricketer of the modern era. As a batsman he has a better Test career average and a better century per innings rate than our own master blaster SRT. Moreover, Kallis batting at No.4 position has a better Test average than SRT. If we look at ODi records, Kallis has an equally good batting average of 44.8 as SRT. Plus, Kallis is going at a high unlike SRT who would have lost his place at least a year ago but for BCCI's kindness. As a bowler Kallis has a better average than the likes of Sobers, our own Zaheer Khan and Bhajji. With the third highest Test run aggregate, second highest number of Test centuries, second highest number of Test catches and 292 Test wickets to his name, Kallis rides above any other cricketer of the modern era.

  • Lodhisingh on December 30, 2013, 7:31 GMT

    @ India_boy, not sure what cricket u were watching mate, but before the double ponting got against india, he averaged in the mid 30s for 3 years about 32 tests. not sure if that is enough by your standards? seems to be enough though. and dont talk about capatincy and other stuff when u r talking about batting form and records mate. sachin's slump was much smaller than ponting's. and just u calling sachin as one who did not play for the team does not account to anything. we all heard and saw the current team and the former players and all the indian public(barring few like urself) had to say about sachin when he retired.

  • India_boy on December 30, 2013, 6:52 GMT

    @lodhisingh...Punter was out of form but not so drastically that he couldn't score a century for 3 years. In fact just prior to his retirement he scored a century against India. Kallis scored a century after just 1 lean year. This is the first time since 1996 that he didn't score a century all year. You talk of Hussain, at least he was a shrewd captain if nothing else. Same with Mark Taylor, and the less you criticise S. Waugh, the better, SRt wasn't even a shadow on the team and crisis man that Waugh was. Atherton and Stewart were the only 2 international level players in Eng team which is why they were played for so long. But SRT? he had 3 massively lean periods during which he would have been dropped if he was in any other team. He never played for the team, during a crisis, changed his positions, in 4th inns., nothing to show that he was a quality batsman (apart from meaningless centuries against tame attacks on batting paradise that didn't really help the team)

  • Lodhisingh on December 30, 2013, 6:35 GMT

    @ krishnaaus, nothing to take away from kallis or dravid mate. they are greats too. but, how many analaysis have u seen or how many comments from experts have u heard where kallis or dravid were not compared to sachin to show how great they are? and..dravid never kept wickets in tests mate. so it is not accurate to bring that stat into the picture.

  • gracegift on December 30, 2013, 6:30 GMT

    There are many who can lay claim to being the best batsmen over the last 2 decades, the Tendulkars, Laras etc. or the best bowlers, Muralis, McGrath, Akram etc. But there's only player who could lay claim to being the greatest cricketer during this time, and he's Jacques Kallis. Nearly 300 wickets as a pace bowler at an average better than Zaheer Khan, 200 catches and the small matter of 13,000 plus runs at 55 per innings. Don't think there'll be another like him for a long time.

  • on December 30, 2013, 5:14 GMT

    Kallis has all the numbers but can he deliver a farewell speech to match those stats! will know today!

  • krishnaaus on December 30, 2013, 4:48 GMT

    @lodhisingh: Why dont Kallis or Dravid have many hundreds? 45 tons for Kallis? Thats only 6 less than tendulkar. Dravid has stood like a rock many times on the other end when tendulkar made his 51 tons. Along with the 45 tons, kallis took 292 wickets too. Its not a joke to score a ton and come back the next innings and take wickets. Dravid, Kallis,Lara are all greats in their own respect and saying that "Sachin is the scale to which greatness is measured " in my opinion is a little biased. Dravid also kept wickets when the team needed it which is also quite taxing. Tendulkar is a special cricketer but so are others in their own way.

  • on December 30, 2013, 4:43 GMT

    Kallis is a better bat than my idol Dravid, better bowler than Zaheer and certianly far superior slip catcher than any of the present Indians.

  • on December 30, 2013, 4:08 GMT

    Kallis and Dravid are (or were u can say )the last of the classical test batsmen . They were very similar as well . So fittingly they will end with similar number's as well . Dravid achieved his number of runs in 2 matches lesser . Pointing took one more match to get it . With the last of the greats retiring . Others like Sangakara , Pietersen , Clarke and Kohli are well on their way to be legends . But none of them will be as good as Kallis . He is a batsmen like Dravid and bowler like Zaheer khan . An automatic walk in any team of his era .Good bye Kallis , ull be missed .

  • Lodhisingh on December 30, 2013, 3:48 GMT

    @Allen lobo, get ur facts right first mate. do u know for how long ponting was out of form in the aus team? did u know kallis averaged only 17 this year till this 100? did u know how the mark taylors, mark waughs, alec stewarts, athertons, hussains did before they were eventually let go? it is one thing to say that sachin played for a bit longer than wat we wud have liked, but it is entirely other thing to say that only indian team does it. every country does the same thing to make sure the great champions absolutely have nothing left in them to contribute before they leave. further, it is not just the runs that matter. it is their experience that they can share and the confidence it gives the younger bunch to have such players in the dressing room that also counts.

  • on December 30, 2013, 1:33 GMT

    india should play Bhuv iorUmesh instead of ishant .zaheer has also past his prime but since he s an left armer it gives variety to their bowling Rohit is another failure, india needs a proper allrounder in his place or play ashwin or ojha coz india is doing good in batting

  • krishnaaus on December 30, 2013, 1:09 GMT

    What amazes me with Kallis retirement is the timing irrespective of how many records he could have broken if he had served SA for 2 more years. To me this is where Dravid and Kallis truly stand out and define their own greatest. No early announcement of retirement to the media or talk of farewell series. They just went about their business right till the end and hung up their boots in a very dignified fashion without much hype or fuss. 13289 runs, 292 wickets and 200 test catches is no mean feat for any cricketer. SA has had him as a luxury for 18 years and to me he will go down as the greatest all rounder the game of cricket has ever seen. I salute you King Kallis! Records alone do not determine a mans greatness!

  • on December 29, 2013, 22:55 GMT

    gsingh7 - You need to check Sachin's stats starting Jan 2011. He had nothing left in the tank and his average over the last 3 years (2011-2013) was less than 35. This is not my opinion, they are plain hard facts.

    In teams like Australia, S Africa, or England he would have been politely told to leave.3 years is not a joke. This wasn't some temporary loss of form. It was not merely well below the fantastic standards of his own career but well below that for any proper specialist batsmen in a good team.

    What made it worse was that India has traditionally had a wealth of great batsmen (as they are proving right now in S. Africa), so there even wasn't lame excuse of "nobody to take his place". And you can see now how little he was missed. He blocked that spot for a long time and only in a culture like the Indian team - where individuals and personal records count way more than the interests of the team - could something like this be not merely tolerated but actually encouraged.

  • Lodhisingh on December 29, 2013, 22:13 GMT

    the thing with Sachin is that one dont need to compare him with any one else for him to be great. but for the others, u need to compare with sachin(or lets say the Sachin bashers do) for them to be shown as greats. Sachin is the scale to which greatness is measured.

  • Lodhisingh on December 29, 2013, 22:08 GMT

    @rocket123, mate i guess u r just looking at sachin's stats from 2000 onwards? he played in much more brittle batting line ups in the 90s and was able to perform big and that is why he is the greatest since bradman. he showed the world india can compete overseas. i cant remember lara really winning any games for windies except the one or two against australia at home in the late 90s. windies hardly won anything since then. so all the talk about him being a match winner is not statiscally proven. and not sure if u are aware of kallis' record against zim if u r comparing sachin's against bangladesh? and, really without his 100s, we might have been in trouble in atleast few of those games and if it was as easy, why dont kallis and dravid have many 100s against them? give it a break mate. u should have listened to cullinan's take on kallis after day 3 to see what his countrymen think of kallis.

  • Salomon6363 on December 29, 2013, 20:52 GMT

    Truly outstanding that Kallis counts among the top 5 in batting whichever way you lookat it AND made a majour contribution with the ball as well. He ranks in the top 30 wicket-takers of all time!! No-one else to compare with him.

  • on December 29, 2013, 20:45 GMT

    India's tail enders are miserable in batting compared to S A tail enders and that is the difference in two teams

  • gsingh7 on December 29, 2013, 19:10 GMT

    these stats separate sachin from rest. kallis is retiring at 13289 runs when sachin kept on going and crossed 15890 which is 2600 more runs than kallis and dravid. he had something left in the tank even after scoring more runs than ponting who is 2nd in list. now i dont see a challenger for a decade atleast to come close to sachin's record except may be pujara.(if his knee problems stay away).cook was called by kp to go for record but he is now fighting for place in the team and averages less than 25 for over a year now.

  • rocket123 on December 29, 2013, 18:52 GMT

    Lara palyed majority of his classic innings in a very brittle and fragile batting line-up and yet he was able to perform big and really big. For the reason he stands above all. Dravid ranks second (not as gifted as some others but hard work and application) earned him "THE WALL". He fought hard to make India stare in the eyes of opposition in foreign conditions. Ponting, a game changer though he had the benefit of an extremely strong team yet he made himself stand on his own the way he batted. Tendulkar and Kallis are the same when it comes to batting though Tendulkar was more gifted and pleasing to watch. But lets be honest, Tendulkar scored 5 hundreds against Bangladesh and lasted way longer than he should have if he had been part of any other team. So at batting, Tendulkar edges out Kallis because he was way superior in his talent, and was always a treat to watch.

  • on December 29, 2013, 18:37 GMT

    after retire Tendulkar.Lara,Kallis,Dravid and Ponting present best batsman in the world is Kumar Sangakkara. best grooming batsman is Pujara. if Sanga will play another two years what will happen ?

  • IndCricFan2013 on December 29, 2013, 18:04 GMT

    Kallis, Dravid, Ponting, Lara and Tendulkar all rank the same to me when it comes to test cricket. All 4 would have got Tendulkars 16000, ( in fact Lara would have got 18000+) if they played 200 tests. Tendulkar lags in number of catches compare to other 3, but number of years he played makes hiim special. Ponting has contributed as a captain to compensate. Dravid has contributed as a captain and have been a wall to India, his case is bigger as he played along with sachin in the same team, another top 5 in the same team. Lara was explosive and the fact he would have much more if he payed 200 test compensate for it. Kallis has contributed with bowling. So, really all 5 are equally good.

  • WC96QF on December 29, 2013, 17:54 GMT

    That last bit of statistics does not make pretty reading, at least for an India fan. India's bowling fire-power has always been limited. All the more reason to have replaced at least 1 of the 3 seamers from the first Test line-up--- Bhuvi or Umesh mite just hv provided that little extra energy/pace to close out SA innings earlier. Am afraid it wl be a real uphill struggle for India tom.

  • WC96QF on December 29, 2013, 17:54 GMT

    That last bit of statistics does not make pretty reading, at least for an India fan. India's bowling fire-power has always been limited. All the more reason to have replaced at least 1 of the 3 seamers from the first Test line-up--- Bhuvi or Umesh mite just hv provided that little extra energy/pace to close out SA innings earlier. Am afraid it wl be a real uphill struggle for India tom.

  • IndCricFan2013 on December 29, 2013, 18:04 GMT

    Kallis, Dravid, Ponting, Lara and Tendulkar all rank the same to me when it comes to test cricket. All 4 would have got Tendulkars 16000, ( in fact Lara would have got 18000+) if they played 200 tests. Tendulkar lags in number of catches compare to other 3, but number of years he played makes hiim special. Ponting has contributed as a captain to compensate. Dravid has contributed as a captain and have been a wall to India, his case is bigger as he played along with sachin in the same team, another top 5 in the same team. Lara was explosive and the fact he would have much more if he payed 200 test compensate for it. Kallis has contributed with bowling. So, really all 5 are equally good.

  • on December 29, 2013, 18:37 GMT

    after retire Tendulkar.Lara,Kallis,Dravid and Ponting present best batsman in the world is Kumar Sangakkara. best grooming batsman is Pujara. if Sanga will play another two years what will happen ?

  • rocket123 on December 29, 2013, 18:52 GMT

    Lara palyed majority of his classic innings in a very brittle and fragile batting line-up and yet he was able to perform big and really big. For the reason he stands above all. Dravid ranks second (not as gifted as some others but hard work and application) earned him "THE WALL". He fought hard to make India stare in the eyes of opposition in foreign conditions. Ponting, a game changer though he had the benefit of an extremely strong team yet he made himself stand on his own the way he batted. Tendulkar and Kallis are the same when it comes to batting though Tendulkar was more gifted and pleasing to watch. But lets be honest, Tendulkar scored 5 hundreds against Bangladesh and lasted way longer than he should have if he had been part of any other team. So at batting, Tendulkar edges out Kallis because he was way superior in his talent, and was always a treat to watch.

  • gsingh7 on December 29, 2013, 19:10 GMT

    these stats separate sachin from rest. kallis is retiring at 13289 runs when sachin kept on going and crossed 15890 which is 2600 more runs than kallis and dravid. he had something left in the tank even after scoring more runs than ponting who is 2nd in list. now i dont see a challenger for a decade atleast to come close to sachin's record except may be pujara.(if his knee problems stay away).cook was called by kp to go for record but he is now fighting for place in the team and averages less than 25 for over a year now.

  • on December 29, 2013, 20:45 GMT

    India's tail enders are miserable in batting compared to S A tail enders and that is the difference in two teams

  • Salomon6363 on December 29, 2013, 20:52 GMT

    Truly outstanding that Kallis counts among the top 5 in batting whichever way you lookat it AND made a majour contribution with the ball as well. He ranks in the top 30 wicket-takers of all time!! No-one else to compare with him.

  • Lodhisingh on December 29, 2013, 22:08 GMT

    @rocket123, mate i guess u r just looking at sachin's stats from 2000 onwards? he played in much more brittle batting line ups in the 90s and was able to perform big and that is why he is the greatest since bradman. he showed the world india can compete overseas. i cant remember lara really winning any games for windies except the one or two against australia at home in the late 90s. windies hardly won anything since then. so all the talk about him being a match winner is not statiscally proven. and not sure if u are aware of kallis' record against zim if u r comparing sachin's against bangladesh? and, really without his 100s, we might have been in trouble in atleast few of those games and if it was as easy, why dont kallis and dravid have many 100s against them? give it a break mate. u should have listened to cullinan's take on kallis after day 3 to see what his countrymen think of kallis.

  • Lodhisingh on December 29, 2013, 22:13 GMT

    the thing with Sachin is that one dont need to compare him with any one else for him to be great. but for the others, u need to compare with sachin(or lets say the Sachin bashers do) for them to be shown as greats. Sachin is the scale to which greatness is measured.

  • on December 29, 2013, 22:55 GMT

    gsingh7 - You need to check Sachin's stats starting Jan 2011. He had nothing left in the tank and his average over the last 3 years (2011-2013) was less than 35. This is not my opinion, they are plain hard facts.

    In teams like Australia, S Africa, or England he would have been politely told to leave.3 years is not a joke. This wasn't some temporary loss of form. It was not merely well below the fantastic standards of his own career but well below that for any proper specialist batsmen in a good team.

    What made it worse was that India has traditionally had a wealth of great batsmen (as they are proving right now in S. Africa), so there even wasn't lame excuse of "nobody to take his place". And you can see now how little he was missed. He blocked that spot for a long time and only in a culture like the Indian team - where individuals and personal records count way more than the interests of the team - could something like this be not merely tolerated but actually encouraged.