South Africa news April 12, 2013

Kallis honoured to make it to Wisden list

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After 18 years as an international cricketer, the world's top-ranked Test allrounder Jacques Kallis, was finally named one of Wisden's Cricketers of the Year. It may seem surprising that it took so long for the publication to honour Kallis, but given that its awards are confined to performances in England, their time lag was justified.

Until last July, Kallis' record in England was modest. He averaged less than 30 and only had one century, scored in Manchester in 1998. He had done better with the ball, with 35 wickets at 27.51, but the 2012 tour improved those statistics dramatically. He scored 262 runs in three Tests, including 182 at the Oval, which saw his batting average in England surge to 35.33 and he added four crucial wickets to his tally, including Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell in the first Test.

Kallis played an important role in South Africa taking the No.1 rankings off their opponents. For Kallis, to be included in the list was simply recognition for his role in ensuring the team finally summited after bubbling under for so long.

"It's a great honour, I had a pretty good season with South Africa and it's nice to be rewarded for that," he told Kolkata Knight Riders' official website. "But I don't play the game for those accolades. I play games to win for the team I am playing for. As much as it is a nice accolade, it's nice that the team had a good year as well."

Kallis also contributed to South Africa's series win in Australia with a hundred in Brisbane and at home against New Zealand and Pakistan. What is most noticeable is that he has begun to score at a quicker rate, playing the longest form of the game more aggressively.

His continued ability to maintain standards of excellence has earned him praise from many quarters, including Brendon McCullum, his KKR team-mate. "I'd say he is probably one of the five cricketers of all time," McCullum said. "He is a freak, so much talent and he is such a humble guy as well. He deserves every bit of the accolades he is getting because he is such a great guy, such a great team man and it's a great privilege to play with him."

KKR are the most recent beneficiaries of Kallis' skill. He opens both the batting and the bowling for them and Trevor Bayliss believes he will be vital to their title defence. "He just keeps doing it, batting and bowling. It's incredible - the longevity he has shown at the very highest end of world cricket," he said.

With age creeping up on him, Kallis is being carefully managed by South Africa. His bowling loads are monitored and he no longer plays bilateral ODI series. While he knows he is in the twilight years, Kallis hopes to be able to keep going - not because he wants to continue to stack up achievements but because, to borrow from Cyndi Lauper, he just wants to have fun.

"I'm getting on in life now but I'm still hungry; still enjoying it and there is still lots to achieve in the game. As long as I wake up in the morning happy to play this game and wanting to get results for the team I am playing for, I will carry on for as long as the body holds out," he said.

"I am not really one for setting personal goals. I prefer setting goals for the team. My personal targets would be to make the correct decisions for the team as many times as I can and hopefully Knight Riders will come out on top again."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY borderboy on | April 14, 2013, 9:30 GMT

    About time Wisden. Jacques Kallis congratulations. Every time I read your stats I am blown away. Absolute super legend. I have had the chance of seeing you live a few times! I am just lucky to have the chance to show and tell my young boys about you. There will never be another in my lifetime. Batter in any team plus your super bowling and slip work. Play as long as you can, pleasure to watch. I am not mentioning any other player this is your time your article.

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | April 12, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    Obviously Kallis is one of the best to have ever played the game;his failure to hit the head lines here suggests that the moving ball is a bit of an Achilles heel. His century at the Oval I thought the best of the big innings' in that game though Amla made 312. His driving was particularly attractyive. He has always had a bat that much broader than anyone else's,due obviously to his ability to hit from the centre of the centre of the bat. He has always presented a very imposing sight at the crease,and his bowling too has been special.

  • POSTED BY GrumpiusMaximus on | April 12, 2013, 13:40 GMT

    Congratulations Jacques.

    I honestly believe that Kallis is one of the greatest players the game has ever seen. He is a true all-rounder, one that would make it into most teams with both his batting and his bowling. His bowling is clearly his lesser discipline but his test average (just over 32) is still excellent - if not World Class. A batting average of around 56 is absolutely World-class. Add that to his fielding and you have something wonderful.

    My admiration for Kallis reached a head during the 2012 tour of Australia. A nasty tear in the hamstring, Kallis goes into bat lower in the order. Despite being in clear pain and discomfort, he held on to score over 50. Pure determination and professionalism - a wonderful example to everybody watching.

  • POSTED BY on | April 18, 2013, 18:47 GMT

    The true benchmark for being a GREAT all rounder is if you removed one facet from his game would he still be selected with the other? The answer to that unequivocally is...Yes!....every time!!!..on any track, anywhere around the world, in all conditions, and against every opposition. Based purely on bald statistics he is unquestionably the finest cricketer of certainly the modern (and arguably of any other) era. His figures are just phenomenal and they are unlikely ever to be surpassed. I've had the privilege of watching him play and I can honestly say he is the best white batsman I've ever seen. It will only be when he retires will everyone realise just how good (great) he is and although he is so unassuming and modest he deserves EVERY accolade the game can bestow on him.

  • POSTED BY AllroundCricketFan on | April 15, 2013, 9:50 GMT

    Greatest all round cricketer ever. Batsman and Bowler. Take a bow Sir, you are truly a legend of this game. Makes other batsmen and bowlers look average with your numbers.

  • POSTED BY TommytuckerSaffa on | April 15, 2013, 8:08 GMT

    The greatest cricketer to ever live!! Why? Because you will never find a player that can contribute more to his team with the skills that Kallis has. If you a captain and you have Kallis in your team, you are a very happy chap. Batting average of 56 (more than SRT), bowling average of 32 and almost 300 Test wickets, chuck in 180 catches. WOW !!

  • POSTED BY Nadeem1976 on | April 15, 2013, 3:29 GMT

    There is no doubt that kallis is greatest bating alllrounder along with sobers. Kallis is what you describe a perfect cricketer. He has every attribute to be known as only a cricketer. Great batsman, good bowler, great slip fielder and great team player. Dream player for me. He should win ODI worldcup in 2015.

  • POSTED BY mithse89 on | April 14, 2013, 17:00 GMT

    There is no doubt that KALLIS is the greatest player. i think we should congratulate wisden for getting their list finally right!!

  • POSTED BY on | April 14, 2013, 12:45 GMT

    Jayasuriya did not reinvent ODI batting Mark Greatbatch did exactly the same thing in the 92 WC! Please to compare Jayasuriya to Kallis is like comparing Shane Watson to Gary Sobers delusional :)

    @ maximum6 not sure how you can deduce Kallis has a problem with the moving ball since he plays most of his cricket in SA where the ball tends to move around a lot. Saying that I'm not sure why he hasnt be fantastic in England maybe its just one of those things ? still a batting average of 35 and a bowling average of 29.30 in England is still better than Flintoffs record in England with Batting Ave 35 and Bowling Ave 36 - Funny how people always use Kallis's performance in England as a judgement to say hes not good yet his performance there is on a par with England best all rounder since Botham!

  • POSTED BY AltafPatel on | April 14, 2013, 12:08 GMT

    @Baseball-Sucks If 32 wickets is measure then Afridi has taken more than it and still playing. If 28 centuries is measure, Afridi has strike rate of 114 with batting average more than 25, little lower than Jayasuriya. To remind that, his highest score is 189, not 194. If 189 rates his best effort than Afridi has record of 37 ball 100 and second record as well of 45 ball hundred. Jayasuriya was not so consistent as Kallis without doubt in both, batting and bowling. Excellent fielding was Kallis's another plus point making him perfect. Without doubt he is best all-rounder in both formats and everyone accept that.

  • POSTED BY borderboy on | April 14, 2013, 9:30 GMT

    About time Wisden. Jacques Kallis congratulations. Every time I read your stats I am blown away. Absolute super legend. I have had the chance of seeing you live a few times! I am just lucky to have the chance to show and tell my young boys about you. There will never be another in my lifetime. Batter in any team plus your super bowling and slip work. Play as long as you can, pleasure to watch. I am not mentioning any other player this is your time your article.

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | April 12, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    Obviously Kallis is one of the best to have ever played the game;his failure to hit the head lines here suggests that the moving ball is a bit of an Achilles heel. His century at the Oval I thought the best of the big innings' in that game though Amla made 312. His driving was particularly attractyive. He has always had a bat that much broader than anyone else's,due obviously to his ability to hit from the centre of the centre of the bat. He has always presented a very imposing sight at the crease,and his bowling too has been special.

  • POSTED BY GrumpiusMaximus on | April 12, 2013, 13:40 GMT

    Congratulations Jacques.

    I honestly believe that Kallis is one of the greatest players the game has ever seen. He is a true all-rounder, one that would make it into most teams with both his batting and his bowling. His bowling is clearly his lesser discipline but his test average (just over 32) is still excellent - if not World Class. A batting average of around 56 is absolutely World-class. Add that to his fielding and you have something wonderful.

    My admiration for Kallis reached a head during the 2012 tour of Australia. A nasty tear in the hamstring, Kallis goes into bat lower in the order. Despite being in clear pain and discomfort, he held on to score over 50. Pure determination and professionalism - a wonderful example to everybody watching.

  • POSTED BY on | April 18, 2013, 18:47 GMT

    The true benchmark for being a GREAT all rounder is if you removed one facet from his game would he still be selected with the other? The answer to that unequivocally is...Yes!....every time!!!..on any track, anywhere around the world, in all conditions, and against every opposition. Based purely on bald statistics he is unquestionably the finest cricketer of certainly the modern (and arguably of any other) era. His figures are just phenomenal and they are unlikely ever to be surpassed. I've had the privilege of watching him play and I can honestly say he is the best white batsman I've ever seen. It will only be when he retires will everyone realise just how good (great) he is and although he is so unassuming and modest he deserves EVERY accolade the game can bestow on him.

  • POSTED BY AllroundCricketFan on | April 15, 2013, 9:50 GMT

    Greatest all round cricketer ever. Batsman and Bowler. Take a bow Sir, you are truly a legend of this game. Makes other batsmen and bowlers look average with your numbers.

  • POSTED BY TommytuckerSaffa on | April 15, 2013, 8:08 GMT

    The greatest cricketer to ever live!! Why? Because you will never find a player that can contribute more to his team with the skills that Kallis has. If you a captain and you have Kallis in your team, you are a very happy chap. Batting average of 56 (more than SRT), bowling average of 32 and almost 300 Test wickets, chuck in 180 catches. WOW !!

  • POSTED BY Nadeem1976 on | April 15, 2013, 3:29 GMT

    There is no doubt that kallis is greatest bating alllrounder along with sobers. Kallis is what you describe a perfect cricketer. He has every attribute to be known as only a cricketer. Great batsman, good bowler, great slip fielder and great team player. Dream player for me. He should win ODI worldcup in 2015.

  • POSTED BY mithse89 on | April 14, 2013, 17:00 GMT

    There is no doubt that KALLIS is the greatest player. i think we should congratulate wisden for getting their list finally right!!

  • POSTED BY on | April 14, 2013, 12:45 GMT

    Jayasuriya did not reinvent ODI batting Mark Greatbatch did exactly the same thing in the 92 WC! Please to compare Jayasuriya to Kallis is like comparing Shane Watson to Gary Sobers delusional :)

    @ maximum6 not sure how you can deduce Kallis has a problem with the moving ball since he plays most of his cricket in SA where the ball tends to move around a lot. Saying that I'm not sure why he hasnt be fantastic in England maybe its just one of those things ? still a batting average of 35 and a bowling average of 29.30 in England is still better than Flintoffs record in England with Batting Ave 35 and Bowling Ave 36 - Funny how people always use Kallis's performance in England as a judgement to say hes not good yet his performance there is on a par with England best all rounder since Botham!

  • POSTED BY AltafPatel on | April 14, 2013, 12:08 GMT

    @Baseball-Sucks If 32 wickets is measure then Afridi has taken more than it and still playing. If 28 centuries is measure, Afridi has strike rate of 114 with batting average more than 25, little lower than Jayasuriya. To remind that, his highest score is 189, not 194. If 189 rates his best effort than Afridi has record of 37 ball 100 and second record as well of 45 ball hundred. Jayasuriya was not so consistent as Kallis without doubt in both, batting and bowling. Excellent fielding was Kallis's another plus point making him perfect. Without doubt he is best all-rounder in both formats and everyone accept that.

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | April 14, 2013, 8:43 GMT

    @ Baseball-Sucks. If you quote stats, quote ALL the stats. You list Jayasuriya's 123 ODI catches, conveniently failing to note that Kallis has taken MORE ODI catches - 125! Oops. Coincidentally, the number between the two - 124 - is the exact difference between Jayasuriya's 445 ODI's, and Kallis' 321. What an astounding twist of fate! and what's more, SJ's best ODI bowling figs are 6/29, & JK's are 5/30. Almost spooky that the numbers are so close!

    Not astounding is Kalllis' better ODI batting ave, 45.26 versus SJ's 32.96, & that JK's ODI bowling ave of 31.69 beats SJ's 36.75. Those are the numbers that count. Kallis' better batting ave is expected - he always batted in the top order. Jayasuriya however spent half his career batting down the order - he was primarily a bowler, yet Kallis has the better bowlin figs, ave, & strike rate!

    Not unexpected at all, though, is that you are simply wrong! Kallis IS the better ODI all-rounder - Jayasuriya just played a lot more games!

  • POSTED BY Baseball-Sucks on | April 14, 2013, 6:31 GMT

    @Pakeeran Siriratnam ; Sanath is a hit n miss batsman?? lol It is a bit too consistent for a hit n miss batsman to score 28 ODI centuries, isn't it ?? I am not sure if somebody can make his way to his best score of 194 where the opposition team got all out for 54 runs. Dude, you can make over 13000+ career runs by riding the luck. Jayasuriya's average is low coz in the beginning of career he was batting at no. 6 or 7. And ODI batting requires constant aggression , specially when you open. Kallis doesn't have those big hitting abilities like. Kallis couldn't even dream of becoming a match winner like Jayasuriya. Thats why Sanath made Wisden list at the age of 25 where Kaliis had to wait till 35. Sanath will be remembered as the man who change the game.

  • POSTED BY on | April 14, 2013, 4:20 GMT

    @Baseball-Sucks, no doubt Sanath was a wonderful player, but speaking of all rounders across formats, he is a mere shadow to Kallis. Sanath was a hit- and miss batsman, and had several inconsistent phases in his career. He had won many matches for Lanka, but his very early exit also put immense pressure on lower order and contributed to Lanka's defeats many times. His ODI batting average is THIRTEEN RUNS below that of Kallis and 16 RUNS in Tests!!!!!! Kallis also has a better bowling average in ODIs and Tests, and per game takes more wickers. There really is no comparison

  • POSTED BY Energetic. on | April 13, 2013, 17:02 GMT

    Baseball guy actually makes a point. Jayasuriya ODI all-round record is right up there but for some reason doesn't get the same recognition as Kallis.

  • POSTED BY Baseball-Sucks on | April 13, 2013, 16:15 GMT

    @AltafPatel ; Who cares if he is a part-time, full time or weekend bowler ? Jayasuriya has got 323 wkts. Its more than impressive for a opening batsman. And You compare a man who's got 28 ODI centuries (best 194) to Afridi ? lol Sanath Jayasuriya reinvented ODI batting. He changed the game with his batting n bowling. He is the best ODI allrounder to have ever played the game of criciket.

  • POSTED BY on | April 13, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    @Baseball- Yeah figures of course will look impressive that's if you have played so many games like these 2 have :)

  • POSTED BY AltafPatel on | April 13, 2013, 12:14 GMT

    @Baseball-Sucks Kallis is Best All-rounder in Test and ODIs. Jayasuriya was part time bowler, where as Kallis was regular, opening, full spell bowler. Jayasuriya is no different from Afridi.

  • POSTED BY AltafPatel on | April 13, 2013, 12:11 GMT

    He is great and deserved long while ago. Anyway, Later is better than nothing. He is no different from Sobers in batting as well as bowling as his figure tells. Consistency is his biggest strength. Can be in top 5 batsmen of all time. Congrates great.

  • POSTED BY on | April 13, 2013, 9:53 GMT

    Wisden value was increased by adding Kallis in that list.. All time best all rounder in Cricket forever. Anyone can replace any batsman or any bowler but its sure no one can replace this all rounder... Great Kallis.............

  • POSTED BY Baseball-Sucks on | April 13, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    Kallis is not the best allrounder overall people...

    Kallis is the best TEST allrounder - 13128 runs, 288 wkts (BBI 6/54) , 194 catches.

    And Sanath Jayasuriya is the best ODI allrounder - 13430 runs, 323 wkts (BBI 6/29), 123 catches.

  • POSTED BY Tendoschate on | April 13, 2013, 8:43 GMT

    One of the finest all rounder ever seen in the cricket era. A legend with good caliber and consistency in career.

  • POSTED BY on | April 13, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    Best batsman of recent times? Lara or Tendulkar. Best all-rounder of recent times? Kallis. Without a doubt.

  • POSTED BY on | April 13, 2013, 3:58 GMT

    We are in the era of changing cricket. Shorter format are gradually taking steps ahead of Test cricket. But what so ever be the era or age a player like Kallis is least found. There are many greats that have played during his cricketing life and some are still there along with him, but if conditions are opposite and we have to choose some one most dependable than the first name that will come to my mind will be Kallis. A man who is equally dependable as Dravid, can score runs pretty well in second innings like Gavaskar, can blast the innings if come top the order Like Sachin, can even bring the collapse of the great batting line up like Mcgrath or Walsh...He is a complete cricketer.

  • POSTED BY TheRisingTeam on | April 12, 2013, 16:51 GMT

    Kallis is simply a LEGEND!!! a true cricketer!!!

  • POSTED BY Robster1 on | April 12, 2013, 16:05 GMT

    King Kallis - certainly the greatest South African player of all time.

  • POSTED BY on | April 12, 2013, 15:57 GMT

    Ok wisden have very old traditions but wisden cricketers of the year can't be very important as it only consider performance in english season! And with or without this award, Kallis is one of the best player ever to play cricket.

  • POSTED BY Shreyas18 on | April 12, 2013, 15:43 GMT

    Congratulations to Leg---geee-nn-ddary Cricketer...

  • POSTED BY on | April 12, 2013, 15:23 GMT

    By far the best player south africa have ever had. He is committed and determined and no doubt one of the best the world have ever seen. May you prosper for a couple more years my king!

  • POSTED BY nandwani88 on | April 12, 2013, 15:21 GMT

    Lol. So now we know 3 of McCullum's '5 cricketers of all time': Bradman, Cook, and Kallis. Wonder who the other 2 are...

  • POSTED BY on | April 12, 2013, 14:37 GMT

    One of the two 'allrounders' who would make any World XI in modern era ( I truly believe Adam Gilchrist is another). Romantics would never lose their love for Garry Sobers and Keith Miller as the prototype allrounder (not least because they played the game with a certain 'flair') but Kallis remains one of the most consistent of multi-skilled players in our times. And then, there's his infinite ability to withstand pain - be it World Cup 1999 Semi final or Test matches against Australia and India. Legend! #respect

  • POSTED BY on | April 12, 2013, 14:27 GMT

    Kallis undoubtedly is one of the best ever to have graced this beautiful game!! I sometimes wonder how lucky I have been to have witnessed the modern masters like Sachin, Ponting, Kallis, Lara, McGrth, Warne, KP at the peak of their prowess. Cannot forget him saving the 3rd test against India on virtually one leg. And, my most endearing image of Kallis will be reverse-sweeping Bhajji in the very first over in the 2nd innings. :)

  • POSTED BY on | April 12, 2013, 14:17 GMT

    better average than tendulkar, ponting ? Tendulkar, Ponting average of 53-54 is only because of their twilight years. There is a difference between an impact player and a grind player. Great allrounder/utililty player but by no means a better bat than Tendulkar, lara, ponting.

  • POSTED BY on | April 12, 2013, 14:10 GMT

    true legend ! what a player he is

  • POSTED BY BradmanBestEver on | April 12, 2013, 14:01 GMT

    The best batsman since Sobers - better average than Lara, Ponting and Tendulkar - more runs than most of them AND he made those runs while taking > 250 test wickets AND a being better fielder than Lara and Tendulkar. Well done Kallis

  • POSTED BY karthickveer on | April 12, 2013, 13:46 GMT

    He is one of Legend, Exordinary batsmen and Bowler.

  • POSTED BY on | April 12, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    One of the all time greatest cricketers, and the best batsman of the past 20 years. Keep going King Kallis!!

  • POSTED BY phat55 on | April 12, 2013, 13:42 GMT

    Lets kick off proceedings with......."King Kallis,the greatest cricketer to have graced the game" :)

  • POSTED BY on | April 12, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    Honoured by Wisden? really who cares if player is recognised by Wisden or not.. Kallis was best, is best and will remain best.

  • POSTED BY on | April 12, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    Honoured by Wisden? really who cares if player is recognised by Wisden or not.. Kallis was best, is best and will remain best.

  • POSTED BY phat55 on | April 12, 2013, 13:42 GMT

    Lets kick off proceedings with......."King Kallis,the greatest cricketer to have graced the game" :)

  • POSTED BY on | April 12, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    One of the all time greatest cricketers, and the best batsman of the past 20 years. Keep going King Kallis!!

  • POSTED BY karthickveer on | April 12, 2013, 13:46 GMT

    He is one of Legend, Exordinary batsmen and Bowler.

  • POSTED BY BradmanBestEver on | April 12, 2013, 14:01 GMT

    The best batsman since Sobers - better average than Lara, Ponting and Tendulkar - more runs than most of them AND he made those runs while taking > 250 test wickets AND a being better fielder than Lara and Tendulkar. Well done Kallis

  • POSTED BY on | April 12, 2013, 14:10 GMT

    true legend ! what a player he is

  • POSTED BY on | April 12, 2013, 14:17 GMT

    better average than tendulkar, ponting ? Tendulkar, Ponting average of 53-54 is only because of their twilight years. There is a difference between an impact player and a grind player. Great allrounder/utililty player but by no means a better bat than Tendulkar, lara, ponting.

  • POSTED BY on | April 12, 2013, 14:27 GMT

    Kallis undoubtedly is one of the best ever to have graced this beautiful game!! I sometimes wonder how lucky I have been to have witnessed the modern masters like Sachin, Ponting, Kallis, Lara, McGrth, Warne, KP at the peak of their prowess. Cannot forget him saving the 3rd test against India on virtually one leg. And, my most endearing image of Kallis will be reverse-sweeping Bhajji in the very first over in the 2nd innings. :)

  • POSTED BY on | April 12, 2013, 14:37 GMT

    One of the two 'allrounders' who would make any World XI in modern era ( I truly believe Adam Gilchrist is another). Romantics would never lose their love for Garry Sobers and Keith Miller as the prototype allrounder (not least because they played the game with a certain 'flair') but Kallis remains one of the most consistent of multi-skilled players in our times. And then, there's his infinite ability to withstand pain - be it World Cup 1999 Semi final or Test matches against Australia and India. Legend! #respect

  • POSTED BY nandwani88 on | April 12, 2013, 15:21 GMT

    Lol. So now we know 3 of McCullum's '5 cricketers of all time': Bradman, Cook, and Kallis. Wonder who the other 2 are...