Sri Lanka in South Africa 2011-12 January 9, 2012

Kallis targetting 2015 World Cup


In 16 years of international cricket, Jacques Kallis has scored centuries against all nine other Test playing nations, has been part of series wins in Australia and England and has seen numerous ODI series victories. One thing he does not have, though, is a World Cup medal and it is that missing piece that is driving him to try to continue playing international cricket until at least 2015.

"The one thing I want to try and achieve is to be part of a team that can win a World Cup. That's a goal of mine," Kallis said after South Africa's victory in the third Test against Sri Lanka, in Cape Town. Kallis has played 317 ODIs, including five World Cups. He will turn 37 this year and will be 39 by the time the next World Cup takes place, in Australia and New Zealand, in 2015.

At the start of the summer local media expressed concern about what they called Kallis' dwindling reflexes, after he was worked over by Australia's 18-year-old fast bowler Pat Cummins, who trouble Kallis with his bouncer. Kallis said he did not read the reports and was only told about it by friends. His response on the field, though, was fierce.

He scored 224, his highest Test score, against Sri Lanka at Newlands, an aggressive pull shot the hallmark of his innings. He also extinguished doubts about his reflexes by taking six catches, five of which were at second slip. To cap it off, he took three wickets in Sri Lanka's second innings. It was an emphatic way to celebrate his 150th Test match and a screaming declaration of what he still has to offer South African cricket. "I couldn't have asked for it to have worked out better," Kallis said. "You dream of performances like that."

While he appeared closer to a teenager than someone entering his late 30s in Cape Town, Kallis has acknowledged that his workload needs to be managed. He did not bowl in the first innings at Newlands, after his marathon effort with the bat, because his captain Graeme Smith felt he "would not get much out of him."

Managing Kallis' bowling load could be key to prolonging his career. That could prove tricky due to the make-up of South Africa's bowling attack. With three aggressive fast bowlers and a legspinner in the side, Kallis is required to play a containing role with the ball, and if needed, to, in his words, "carry," the attack. In the shorter form of the game, he is unlikely to be used in the same capacity and less work with the ball could be vital as he targets 2015.

"I will take it year by year, month by month and game by game," he said. "No-one has the right to play in this side [without earning his place]. You've got to put in the performances for that. As long as I am enjoying it and putting in the performances, and the body holds, there's no reason for me to stop yet."

Kallis has been named in South Africa's squad for the first two ODIs against Sri Lanka, after which the selectors will decide on the group for the remaining three matches. Kallis said he hopes to play in all five fixtures although he recognises that he may be forced to pick which matches to play in the future.

"It looks like I will play all five matches. I said to Gary [Kirsten, the South Africa coach], we will have a look at it after the first two and we'll make a call from there. That will be the standard going forward. I have to be clever if I want to make it to the next World Cup."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sasmit on January 11, 2012, 18:42 GMT

    i dont understand SA playing fak du pluise, u already have 5 run grafters in ur squade with smith amla kallis devillers and duminy. 5 of the very best if u ask me. what they need is an impact player like a gilly or a hayden or a sewag. some1 like ressow is needed who can slaughter attacks and take the iniciative away from the opposition in no time. i m not a Smith hater but i think he need to go to make room for russow soon. hes been inconsistant for a long time and sa already have run grafters till duminy. they also need coloured players in the mix. i think CWC cost SA because of the quatos because they neded to play peterson always to get the number of coloured players to 3 hence played one batsman less.

  • Alan on January 11, 2012, 15:41 GMT

    @ Gavin Ross and Sam Clough: You don't consider that i) Sobers could bowl two different styles, ii) Sobers was a brilliant fielder (I'm saying Kallis is not a good fielder but I think Sobers was better), iii) Sobers was a better and much more accomplished international captain

  • Dummy4 on January 11, 2012, 5:48 GMT

    @landl47 - Pro Cricket is NOT about entertainment on the level of individual players. pro cricket is about WINNING matches, case closed. Cricket has changed over the years to become more entertaining, and players have adapted, but the most enetrtaining players in the world with losing records, find themselves on the fringes pretty quickly. Entertainment has to be coupled with results e.g. Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne etc. Yes, T20 is solely about entertainment for the public, and it has pulled many more spectators to the grounds, but for true cricket lovers it is not really cricket.

    Did you know that in recent times (approx last 20 tests), Kallis has a strike rate of over 60 while Sachin and Ponting have SR of 51 and 52 respectively? So on a pure runs per balls entertainment level, who would you rather watch. It is clear that kallis has shed the perception that he bats too slowly. If you want boredom, watch Ponting and Tendulkar who, of late, seem to be batting for their carreers

  • Dummy4 on January 11, 2012, 5:35 GMT

    In terms of all-round ability only Gary Sobers is even worth comparing to JH Kallis. While Sobers was no doubt a very capable and entertaining batsman, I have an issue with his bowling strike rate at over 90 balls per wicket as compared with Kallis' SR of below 70. Everyone goes on about Sobers having a variation to his bowling style, but people, wake up, he clearly didnt bowl his variations with much skill, as his SR attests to. And then the issue of longevity and the strain that Kallis'body has been under when you include ODI's and T20.

    Sobers was the best of his generation by a long shot and it remains tough to compare players of different eras, but for me personally, KALLIS IS KING.

  • Dummy4 on January 11, 2012, 4:01 GMT

    Statistically the greatest cricketer of all time. No IFs No BUTS!

  • Dummy4 on January 10, 2012, 19:02 GMT

    Why oh why, on a post about Kallis, the best all rounder in my opinion ever (look at the present stress on players and his longevity!) need we compare Sachin with him??? They are different individuals, and this is Kallis's page!!!

  • John on January 10, 2012, 18:28 GMT

    Kallis is a great cricketer statistically, but pro cricket is entertainment and in that area he falls somewhat short. He and Sobers have comparable numbers, but no-one who saw both of them play is in any doubt that Sobers is the best all-rounder of all time. I didn't see Don Bradman, but in my time dating from the 1950s Sobers is the best batsmen I have ever seen and his bowling was a bonus.

  • Gavin on January 10, 2012, 17:41 GMT


    Good player hah. Kallis is the greatest cricketer ever produced by any nation. Avereging 57 after 150 tests. Sachin slightly lower with more games. Pretty even with the bat really. Its the wickets now and thats where Sachin doesnt even show up. 45 wickets at an average of 54. Kallis has 274 wickets at an average of 34. Kallis has 180 catches to Sachins 112, although that has a lot to do with luck as you cant catch em if they dont come to you can you? Pound for pound Id pick Kallis for my team if I had to make a choice as you get more bang for your buck there than you would with almost any other player that has ever lived.

  • Dummy4 on January 10, 2012, 17:39 GMT

    He said played 4 WC not 5 .

  • Alan on January 10, 2012, 16:11 GMT

    @ RAFAY-RSA: great player though Kallis has been it is difficult to say I think that he was a better all-round cricketer than Sobers, if only because Sobers could bowl two different styles (spin and medium pace) and was a far more effective captain than Kallis

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