South Africa v Pakistan, 3rd Test, Centurion, 1st day February 22, 2013

SA get taste of life without Kallis

To replace Kallis will be close to impossible as most know. But on the evidence of how South Africa have coped so far, it seems they will find a way to move on
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If quality of depth is, as Graeme Smith insists, the key factor in South Africa's ability to play at a standard high enough to remain No.1 in the world, they had a chance to test that today. For the fourth time in five series, Jacques Kallis was injured and a contingency plan had to be made.

Kirsten has called Kallis a "two-in-one-player," which makes him sound like a fancy shampoo-conditioner combination but its real meaning is only understood by his actual absence. As South Africa learnt in New Zealand, to replace him really does take two players and a mindset shift.

In Wellington, they had to change the balance of their team as they picked a batsman (JP Duminy) and a bowler (Marchant de Lange) in Kallis' place. It meant leaving out the spinner (Imran Tahir). On other occasions, in England and Australia, South Africa have had to juggle the batting order to accommodate Kallis.

Managing Kallis is becoming trickier as age, not erosion of talent or lack of form, creeps up on him. Gary Kirsten confirmed he will no longer feature in bilateral ODI series but will be considered for the Champions Trophy and World Cup because those are two events he has expressed interest in taking part in. Kirsten said no much more can be asked of Kallis after 18 years of service to the country so the coach is "just happy when Kallis makes it through to a Test series."

Now, even that is a bonus. An injury which Peter Kirsten remembered afflicting him in his later years has come to haunt Kallis too and it serves as yet another reminder that the clock is ticking against him. For as long as Kallis can play, there is no doubt he will be selected but South Africa also have to confront the reality that one day his body may have the final say.

Today, they "got a sighting of that," as Hashim Amla put it in almost perfect circumstances. The series situation meant that South Africa could afford to be without Kallis. It is already won 2-0. The opposition also meant they could. Against an inexperienced bowling attack and with a tail that can wag as energetically as a puppy's on its first walk meant South Africa could be comfortable with only six frontline batsmen, not seven as has been their strategy recently.

Kyle Abbott was a straight swap for Kallis and Rory Kleinveldt the same for Morne Morkel, giving South Africa their usual four quicks with Robin Peterson as the slower bowling option. Lesson No.1: Life after Kallis may mean reverting back to a more traditional starting XI and not enjoying the luxury of an extra batsman if the bowling complement is to remain as is.

It also means the gap at No. 4 needs to be filled. Until two matches ago, it was thought that AB de Villiers would move a spot up and that was a concern. How would he handle the treble role of wicketkeeping, vice-captaincy and batting higher up? Already, he has admitted to feeling overburdened when doing all three in limited-overs matches.

That bring us to lesson No. 2: Faf du Plessis, not de Villiers, is being groomed for Kallis' spot. Du Plessis batted there at Newlands when Kallis had to move down the order because he was overbowled earlier and he has done it again now. "Faf fits in anywhere," Amla concluded. "Although he has only played a few Tests, he conducts himself as though he had played 50."

Maturity is du Plessis' standout characteristic. He had mountains of it in Adelaide when, on debut, he saved South Africa. He has since leapfrogged Dean Elgar to the No.6 spot, taken over as captain of the Twenty20 side, stood in as ODI leader and shown he has broad shoulders. If he is the eventual replacement at No.4, it will be a good move for South Africa.

Du Plessis' talent is obvious; he plays the game positively, has the ability to dig in and is strong on both front and back foot. Most importantly, he shows the potential to form part of the core in the top four that allows the middle order, and de Villiers in particular, to come in under minimal pressure.

When du Plessis was caught behind after lunch today, South Africa were 107 for 3, perhaps the most unstable situation de Villiers has been in recently with the exception of the first innings at Newlands in the last Test. Still, Amla was well set and Pakistan were out of ideas. Partners left de Villiers but he had a platform from which to build and he did so admirably. His innings was a combination of placement and timing as he found boundaries in the third man area three times through subtle guiding and beat fielders with a delicate precision.

A question remains over the No.6 batsmen. Despite his century against New Zealand, Elgar has not been convincing. That may be because he is playing out of position (he is actually an opener) but his uncertainty outside the offstump says otherwise. Jacques Rudolph and Ashwell Prince are considered spent forces but there are rumblings that the return of Duminy, who has three months to go before he will recover fully from his ruptured Achilles, will solve that problem.

To replace Kallis will be close to impossible as most, including Amla, know. "Jacques is an iconic player. You will always feel his absence," he said. But on the evidence of how South Africa have gone about doing that so far, there is something to suggest they will find a way to move on when the times comes.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | February 22, 2013, 21:33 GMT

    As a Saffa & huge Kallis fan, I am awed by his achievements & his humility: never arrogant, he unfailingly attributes his success to his team. I am offended when posters here diminish him & his record.

    I am also offended when he is called the greatest cricketer or greatest all rounder ever, because that in turn diminishes the record of Sir Garfield Sobers, the only cricketer comparable to Kallis. Their records are inseparably close; all figs a few numbers apart. There is, & never will be, any way to judge which of these giants is "the greatest." They are simply "the 2 greatest!"

    I urge my fellow Saffas & fellow cricket lovers to follow Kallis' example, & be inclusive in your praise. Failing to acknowledge Sobers seems arrogant & ignorant, & indeed, it is. The answer is simple: just add "and Sobers" whenever you call Kallis "the greatest…." By always including Sobers, you will be truthful, respectful, & will honor both these legends of cricket. I'm certain Jacques would want that.

  • POSTED BY Smahuta on | February 23, 2013, 13:00 GMT

    Kallis is irreplaceable, as a pound for pound cricketer he is the best the world has ever seen but its not looking all as bad as I would have thought a few years ago. . After after Kallis retires: Smith, Peterson, Amla, Devilliers, Du Plessis, Duminy, De Kock, Peterson, Philander, Steyn, Morkel, Abbott/De Lange. Still going to be the best team around for a while longer I think.

  • POSTED BY YogifromNY on | February 23, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    @Greatest_Game - like your comments a lot, mate. I am a US-based supporter of the Indian team. I have been a HUGE fan of Kallis's for years. What a competitor, what natural talent, what a hard worker! Those three things together have ensured his rise to the top and kept him there. Because of him, SA's had the luxury of effectively playing 12 players in every game. And it is not like he is tops at batting and ok at bowling or the other way around. He is fantastic at both, and a phenomenal catcher. Wish you the best, Jacques, in your next chapters in life. I hope he plays for many more years to come! God bless.

  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2013, 12:18 GMT

    Time and sentimentality in the game of cricket wait for no men and while I want to see Kallis continue to play test match cricket for as long as he can - I'm certain he'll finish the second highest run scorer of all time and he'll get to 300 wickets...his all rounder stats that will never be matched or surpassed!!....he is now unfortunately in the twilight of his career and it will be a sad, sad, day for SA and world cricket when he finishes. For me he is the best white batsman I've ever seen and indisputably the greatest all rounder of definitely his and possibly other eras. It'll be great if he can get to the 2015 World Cup so that we can continue to witness GREAT achievements from a truly GREAT player.

  • POSTED BY sandy.bhadoriya on | February 23, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    very well written article I appreciate it that south africans are thinking in 360 degree but we are talking about cricket and it is funny game as we know

  • POSTED BY Protears on | February 23, 2013, 8:49 GMT

    I would like to see us grooming future players. Elgar I do think can evolve but there is also the ever improving Quinton De Kock, Rillee Rossouw, Colin Ingram all capable at longer format cricket. On the bowling front, Morris, Abbott, de Lange, Tsotsobe, Klienveldt show enough depth in bowling.

    As to the Kallis dilemma, I think that all rounders evolve, some mostly bowling all rounders others batting all rounders. I think that we have the personal to work around this issue and one option is Duminy to bowl more.

    Smith, Amla, Du Plessis, Kallis, De Villiers, Duminy looks a solid top six, the options therefter, Quinton de Kock can come in as a specialist batsmen or keeper if needed or we can flood the all rounders with Peterson, Philander showing talent with the bat hopefully a Chris Morris or Kyle Abbott can also evolve into capable lower order all rounders.

  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2013, 8:47 GMT

    Duminy is coming back after his injury, and then Dean Elgar would have to make way again for him, but who knows, soon it could be to fill Kallis' gap, if he retires. I'm not saying that Duminy can plug that massive hole that Kallis' absence would cause, but it would be a start. Duminy is quick between the wickets and when he gets in, he's a difficult batsman to get out. He compliments other energetic batsmen like Faf, de Villiers and Peterson down the order, plus his spin bowling isn't too bad. He adds a lot to the team!

  • POSTED BY crashed on | February 23, 2013, 7:52 GMT

    @greatest game yes indeed I agree with you Sobers did then what kallis is doing now both great players and both will acknowledge the other as being great.

    What I do not understand however is why nobody WANT to admit that SA is currently the best even if not YET AS great as the great Windies AND Ausies of yesteryear. Since I know SA will, one day in the future not be the number 1 team (as happened to the Windies and Ausies of yesteryear) anymore, I will be happy if one day in the future they say yes this team (any other team than SA) is good the current number one but not as great as the Windies, Ausies AND SAFFAS of yesteryear. Since we are the current best and only recently got to the top however I most certainly do not want SA on the list as yet (since then we would not be number 1 anymore) - since we are still building to it but at least give SA the recognition that WE ARE THE CURRENTLY BEST and I hope we stay that for a very looooong time :)

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | February 23, 2013, 6:32 GMT

    Kallis' achievements are wonderful. Being without him for a test or two is one thing, but SA might find it more difficult once he's gone altogether. Faf's a fine player, but batsmen who average 56 in tests don't come along every day, and that's before his bowling is taken into account- not to mention those bucket hands making catches look easy.

    Without taking anything away from Jacques (and he would be in my XI of the best players I have seen), there are two kinds of cricket fans: those who think Kallis is as good or better than Sobers, and those who saw Sobers.

  • POSTED BY Robster1 on | February 23, 2013, 4:37 GMT

    As the author quite rightly says, King Kallis is quite irreplacable. He truly is an all time great. Would the next potentially quality batsman be Stiaan Van Zyl ?

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | February 22, 2013, 21:33 GMT

    As a Saffa & huge Kallis fan, I am awed by his achievements & his humility: never arrogant, he unfailingly attributes his success to his team. I am offended when posters here diminish him & his record.

    I am also offended when he is called the greatest cricketer or greatest all rounder ever, because that in turn diminishes the record of Sir Garfield Sobers, the only cricketer comparable to Kallis. Their records are inseparably close; all figs a few numbers apart. There is, & never will be, any way to judge which of these giants is "the greatest." They are simply "the 2 greatest!"

    I urge my fellow Saffas & fellow cricket lovers to follow Kallis' example, & be inclusive in your praise. Failing to acknowledge Sobers seems arrogant & ignorant, & indeed, it is. The answer is simple: just add "and Sobers" whenever you call Kallis "the greatest…." By always including Sobers, you will be truthful, respectful, & will honor both these legends of cricket. I'm certain Jacques would want that.

  • POSTED BY Smahuta on | February 23, 2013, 13:00 GMT

    Kallis is irreplaceable, as a pound for pound cricketer he is the best the world has ever seen but its not looking all as bad as I would have thought a few years ago. . After after Kallis retires: Smith, Peterson, Amla, Devilliers, Du Plessis, Duminy, De Kock, Peterson, Philander, Steyn, Morkel, Abbott/De Lange. Still going to be the best team around for a while longer I think.

  • POSTED BY YogifromNY on | February 23, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    @Greatest_Game - like your comments a lot, mate. I am a US-based supporter of the Indian team. I have been a HUGE fan of Kallis's for years. What a competitor, what natural talent, what a hard worker! Those three things together have ensured his rise to the top and kept him there. Because of him, SA's had the luxury of effectively playing 12 players in every game. And it is not like he is tops at batting and ok at bowling or the other way around. He is fantastic at both, and a phenomenal catcher. Wish you the best, Jacques, in your next chapters in life. I hope he plays for many more years to come! God bless.

  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2013, 12:18 GMT

    Time and sentimentality in the game of cricket wait for no men and while I want to see Kallis continue to play test match cricket for as long as he can - I'm certain he'll finish the second highest run scorer of all time and he'll get to 300 wickets...his all rounder stats that will never be matched or surpassed!!....he is now unfortunately in the twilight of his career and it will be a sad, sad, day for SA and world cricket when he finishes. For me he is the best white batsman I've ever seen and indisputably the greatest all rounder of definitely his and possibly other eras. It'll be great if he can get to the 2015 World Cup so that we can continue to witness GREAT achievements from a truly GREAT player.

  • POSTED BY sandy.bhadoriya on | February 23, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    very well written article I appreciate it that south africans are thinking in 360 degree but we are talking about cricket and it is funny game as we know

  • POSTED BY Protears on | February 23, 2013, 8:49 GMT

    I would like to see us grooming future players. Elgar I do think can evolve but there is also the ever improving Quinton De Kock, Rillee Rossouw, Colin Ingram all capable at longer format cricket. On the bowling front, Morris, Abbott, de Lange, Tsotsobe, Klienveldt show enough depth in bowling.

    As to the Kallis dilemma, I think that all rounders evolve, some mostly bowling all rounders others batting all rounders. I think that we have the personal to work around this issue and one option is Duminy to bowl more.

    Smith, Amla, Du Plessis, Kallis, De Villiers, Duminy looks a solid top six, the options therefter, Quinton de Kock can come in as a specialist batsmen or keeper if needed or we can flood the all rounders with Peterson, Philander showing talent with the bat hopefully a Chris Morris or Kyle Abbott can also evolve into capable lower order all rounders.

  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2013, 8:47 GMT

    Duminy is coming back after his injury, and then Dean Elgar would have to make way again for him, but who knows, soon it could be to fill Kallis' gap, if he retires. I'm not saying that Duminy can plug that massive hole that Kallis' absence would cause, but it would be a start. Duminy is quick between the wickets and when he gets in, he's a difficult batsman to get out. He compliments other energetic batsmen like Faf, de Villiers and Peterson down the order, plus his spin bowling isn't too bad. He adds a lot to the team!

  • POSTED BY crashed on | February 23, 2013, 7:52 GMT

    @greatest game yes indeed I agree with you Sobers did then what kallis is doing now both great players and both will acknowledge the other as being great.

    What I do not understand however is why nobody WANT to admit that SA is currently the best even if not YET AS great as the great Windies AND Ausies of yesteryear. Since I know SA will, one day in the future not be the number 1 team (as happened to the Windies and Ausies of yesteryear) anymore, I will be happy if one day in the future they say yes this team (any other team than SA) is good the current number one but not as great as the Windies, Ausies AND SAFFAS of yesteryear. Since we are the current best and only recently got to the top however I most certainly do not want SA on the list as yet (since then we would not be number 1 anymore) - since we are still building to it but at least give SA the recognition that WE ARE THE CURRENTLY BEST and I hope we stay that for a very looooong time :)

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | February 23, 2013, 6:32 GMT

    Kallis' achievements are wonderful. Being without him for a test or two is one thing, but SA might find it more difficult once he's gone altogether. Faf's a fine player, but batsmen who average 56 in tests don't come along every day, and that's before his bowling is taken into account- not to mention those bucket hands making catches look easy.

    Without taking anything away from Jacques (and he would be in my XI of the best players I have seen), there are two kinds of cricket fans: those who think Kallis is as good or better than Sobers, and those who saw Sobers.

  • POSTED BY Robster1 on | February 23, 2013, 4:37 GMT

    As the author quite rightly says, King Kallis is quite irreplacable. He truly is an all time great. Would the next potentially quality batsman be Stiaan Van Zyl ?

  • POSTED BY VillageGreen on | February 23, 2013, 2:43 GMT

    As much as Kallis enjoys the game and is colossal, its going to be best for SA for him to step back sooner than later. SA are on top and look inpenitrable, have loads of talent coming through, so look really strong.

    I'm sure he'd like to get to the batting and bowling milestones he's within sight of (topping Ponting as alltime #2 just 250 runs away; though another 12 wickets from 300 is looking increasingly distant). But that's 12 months from now, and his present form says it may take longer...though with Kallis that's just one or 2 good matches. And everyone in SA would want to share that glory too.

    SA can afford the luxury of carrying Kallis to those milestones without jeopardising their ranking, and he's earned the right to call time, but let's all agree that it IS becoming an indulgent luxury.

  • POSTED BY Wallaroo on | February 23, 2013, 0:51 GMT

    @luvcricket_new_gen The Don, Bradman is the greatest batsman the world has ever seen. Shane Warne is the greatest bowler the world has ever see. Jac Kallis is the greatest cricketer (all-rounder) the world has ever seen.

    The only probable disputable above is Shane Warne, otherwise the others Bradman and Kallis, may not be preferential depending on opinion, but statically are indisputably the best ever.

  • POSTED BY Dale_Pain on | February 22, 2013, 23:38 GMT

    I think the balance will take care of itself. The up and coming bowlers can all bat quite a bit after all.. Vern, Gqamane and especially Morris can bat rather well, we will have traditional bowling all-rounders at 8 and 9 I think! Do you think Abbott is more of a RMF than an RM? Medium pace is pretty slow!

  • POSTED BY Josh1942 on | February 22, 2013, 22:38 GMT

    @Sircar Agree with you. If he wants to keep to his incredible standards he needs to do the whole fitness/health bit seriously. Or he will just fade away in a string of below par performances which may just be starting to happen.

  • POSTED BY on | February 22, 2013, 21:46 GMT

    Let's not call Kallis "The Greatest all rounder of all time".

    Rather, Kallis and Sobers are the two greatest all rounders of all time.

    If Safrican commenters keep things balanced on our side, then those from other countries will be less tempted to hit back with the equally ridiculous "Sobers is better than Kallis" argument.

    There is very little separating the two stats wise. Unless you want to count the amount of cricket Kallis has played, but that's a separate argument of durability.

  • POSTED BY Robeli on | February 22, 2013, 21:43 GMT

    Kallis needs 12 more test wickets to get to 300. Then he must stop bowling.

  • POSTED BY Shoobhit on | February 22, 2013, 20:54 GMT

    It sends tizzy around my spine as I visualise cricket without Kallis. Cricket, not only SA cricket, undoubtedly, will witness a huge void as and when the "greatest cricketer" decides to call it a day. Really the "MVP", as Ram Guha calls him.

  • POSTED BY 2nd_Slip on | February 22, 2013, 19:57 GMT

    Its nice to see that SA can do reasonably well without the greatest allrounder to have ever graced the game of international cricket

  • POSTED BY SurlyCynic on | February 22, 2013, 19:35 GMT

    @Spelele: I agree with you in general about the extra bowler, but on some pitches I think Duminy could be a reasonable 5th bowler (with Kallis chipping in a couple of overs as a 6th bowler). That's a lot of bowling and a lot of batting in the team.

  • POSTED BY C.A-SA1987 on | February 22, 2013, 19:31 GMT

    @ TommyTucker..

    I normally agree with 99.9% of your comments, but

    "I think Elgar should open the batting when Smith retires in a few years time"

    is surely meant to read:

    "I think DE KOCK should open the batting when Smith retires in a few years time"???

    I really like this Chris Morris fellow, but if some young kid could be blessed with Shane Warne like talent, I'd be eternally grateful!!!

    @Surly, tommy and other RSA bloggers: Do we have any one coming up who is even remotely close to Jakes in terms of talent?

    Abbott Vs Morris Vs De Lange - who looks most primed?

  • POSTED BY TommytuckerSaffa on | February 22, 2013, 19:12 GMT

    Kallis, the greatest cricketer to ever play the game.

    I hope we get another 2/3 years out of him, when he doesnt play it shows and what a vacuum he leaves. Agreed with the writer that Elgar looks very ordinary, reminds me of Ed Cowan, both are not very good. I think Elgar should open the batting when Smith retires in a few years time. I think Robbie P's batting goes some of the way in covering Kallis long term, another option would be to improve JPs spin bowling to the point were its possible to consider him as an allrounder.....long shot.

  • POSTED BY Spelele on | February 22, 2013, 19:01 GMT

    SA will be just fine. In fact, I think the extra bowler strategy should be adopted even when Kallis is fit to bowl. This would allow us to maximise his batting as he won't be burdened with too much bowling. Our top six would not be affected by the change since AB is doing an awesome job keeping (what was that about keeping affecting his batting? - he averages about 50 while keeping!). He can still be the best batsman in the world even while keeping.

    Test match cricket is about taking 20 wickets, and adding another bowler might enable us to bowl teams out much quicker than we already are (if that is at all possible!). The 'weaker' batting card (in inverted comas because it is actually the normal standard for other sides in world cricket who don't have a Kallis) would not be a problem if the top 6 does its job as it has been for some time. Robin and Vern can also be fine-tuned into handy all-rounders to make up the 'extra batsman'!

    Overall, things look good for years!

  • POSTED BY on | February 22, 2013, 18:56 GMT

    Kallis and Tendulkar,two legends on their last legs.....their retirement will bring curtains down to an era which saw some other great cricketers like Lara,Ponting, Dravid,Warne,Murali,Jayasuriya,McGrath,Gilichrist,Hayden,Wasim,Waqar,Inzi, Anwar,Laxman,Pollock,Donald,Lee,Ganguly,Klusener,etc...Hope thy continue till the Ind-SA series later this year,score centuries for their respecive countries and then retire with a bang leaving the spectators crying for more....

  • POSTED BY luvcricket_new_gen on | February 22, 2013, 18:52 GMT

    Kallis - the most overloaded player the game of cricket would have seen. Bats long, Bowls 10 overs in ODIs, bats and bowls long in tests, plays T20, plays full IPL, one of the finest catchers in slips - has been doing these since his debut. And still going strong. In my personal opinion - Greatest batsmen the game of cricket has seen (ODIs, Tests both inclusive) is Sachin and Greatest cricketer the game of cricket has seen (Jack kallis) - Salute to KALLIS

  • POSTED BY on | February 22, 2013, 18:49 GMT

    At the risk of starting a world war, I think Kallis needs to lose weight. He is no longer merely the "broad shouldered collosus of south african cricket" as his cricinfo bio says he is. There is now a lot underneath those broad shoulders as well. At this age, the lighter he is, the longer he'll play.

  • POSTED BY on | February 22, 2013, 18:49 GMT

    At the risk of starting a world war, I think Kallis needs to lose weight. He is no longer merely the "broad shouldered collosus of south african cricket" as his cricinfo bio says he is. There is now a lot underneath those broad shoulders as well. At this age, the lighter he is, the longer he'll play.

  • POSTED BY luvcricket_new_gen on | February 22, 2013, 18:52 GMT

    Kallis - the most overloaded player the game of cricket would have seen. Bats long, Bowls 10 overs in ODIs, bats and bowls long in tests, plays T20, plays full IPL, one of the finest catchers in slips - has been doing these since his debut. And still going strong. In my personal opinion - Greatest batsmen the game of cricket has seen (ODIs, Tests both inclusive) is Sachin and Greatest cricketer the game of cricket has seen (Jack kallis) - Salute to KALLIS

  • POSTED BY on | February 22, 2013, 18:56 GMT

    Kallis and Tendulkar,two legends on their last legs.....their retirement will bring curtains down to an era which saw some other great cricketers like Lara,Ponting, Dravid,Warne,Murali,Jayasuriya,McGrath,Gilichrist,Hayden,Wasim,Waqar,Inzi, Anwar,Laxman,Pollock,Donald,Lee,Ganguly,Klusener,etc...Hope thy continue till the Ind-SA series later this year,score centuries for their respecive countries and then retire with a bang leaving the spectators crying for more....

  • POSTED BY Spelele on | February 22, 2013, 19:01 GMT

    SA will be just fine. In fact, I think the extra bowler strategy should be adopted even when Kallis is fit to bowl. This would allow us to maximise his batting as he won't be burdened with too much bowling. Our top six would not be affected by the change since AB is doing an awesome job keeping (what was that about keeping affecting his batting? - he averages about 50 while keeping!). He can still be the best batsman in the world even while keeping.

    Test match cricket is about taking 20 wickets, and adding another bowler might enable us to bowl teams out much quicker than we already are (if that is at all possible!). The 'weaker' batting card (in inverted comas because it is actually the normal standard for other sides in world cricket who don't have a Kallis) would not be a problem if the top 6 does its job as it has been for some time. Robin and Vern can also be fine-tuned into handy all-rounders to make up the 'extra batsman'!

    Overall, things look good for years!

  • POSTED BY TommytuckerSaffa on | February 22, 2013, 19:12 GMT

    Kallis, the greatest cricketer to ever play the game.

    I hope we get another 2/3 years out of him, when he doesnt play it shows and what a vacuum he leaves. Agreed with the writer that Elgar looks very ordinary, reminds me of Ed Cowan, both are not very good. I think Elgar should open the batting when Smith retires in a few years time. I think Robbie P's batting goes some of the way in covering Kallis long term, another option would be to improve JPs spin bowling to the point were its possible to consider him as an allrounder.....long shot.

  • POSTED BY C.A-SA1987 on | February 22, 2013, 19:31 GMT

    @ TommyTucker..

    I normally agree with 99.9% of your comments, but

    "I think Elgar should open the batting when Smith retires in a few years time"

    is surely meant to read:

    "I think DE KOCK should open the batting when Smith retires in a few years time"???

    I really like this Chris Morris fellow, but if some young kid could be blessed with Shane Warne like talent, I'd be eternally grateful!!!

    @Surly, tommy and other RSA bloggers: Do we have any one coming up who is even remotely close to Jakes in terms of talent?

    Abbott Vs Morris Vs De Lange - who looks most primed?

  • POSTED BY SurlyCynic on | February 22, 2013, 19:35 GMT

    @Spelele: I agree with you in general about the extra bowler, but on some pitches I think Duminy could be a reasonable 5th bowler (with Kallis chipping in a couple of overs as a 6th bowler). That's a lot of bowling and a lot of batting in the team.

  • POSTED BY 2nd_Slip on | February 22, 2013, 19:57 GMT

    Its nice to see that SA can do reasonably well without the greatest allrounder to have ever graced the game of international cricket

  • POSTED BY Shoobhit on | February 22, 2013, 20:54 GMT

    It sends tizzy around my spine as I visualise cricket without Kallis. Cricket, not only SA cricket, undoubtedly, will witness a huge void as and when the "greatest cricketer" decides to call it a day. Really the "MVP", as Ram Guha calls him.

  • POSTED BY Robeli on | February 22, 2013, 21:43 GMT

    Kallis needs 12 more test wickets to get to 300. Then he must stop bowling.