South Africa news August 20, 2013

Kallis commits to more ODIs for South Africa

ESPNcricinfo staff

Jacques Kallis has committed to playing ODIs for South Africa on a more regular basis, as he looks to stay in the team's plans in the build-up to the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. The coach Russell Domingo hopes to have Kallis back for the home ODIs against India later in the year, but cautioned that his workload will still be monitored, given his recent history with injuries.

"Playing for my country has always been both a huge honour and a privilege," Kallis said after meeting Domingo on Tuesday morning. "It remains my aspiration to be available for the 2015 World Cup but, at the same time I know as an allrounder approaching my 38th birthday, I will need to assess my future in the game season by season.

"At the moment I am feeling mentally and physically refreshed and I am looking forward to carry on playing for my country as long as possible."

Kallis, 37, hasn't played an ODI since February 2012 and Domingo's predecessor Gary Kirsten had deemed it "no longer necessary" for him to figure in bilateral series because he was too important to South Africa's Test ambitions. Kirsten had left the door open for Kallis to make a return in major events but Domingo stated that if the allrounder still had hopes of playing the next World Cup, he needed to play sufficient ODI cricket.

"We will manage Jacques' career season by season and take it game by game," Domingo told ESPNcricinfo. "There is no set number of ODIs he will play before the World Cup, but the closer to the tournament we get, the more he will play.

"Forget about his runs and wickets, to have someone of Jacques' experience - whether he makes the World Cup squad or not - will be very important for the developing of younger players. No-one is guaranteed a place in the side and no-one is guaranteed a place in the World Cup squad. It all depends on fitness and form.

"He looks very fit, he has been doing a lot of running. It was good to talk about his ambitions. We will have another formal discussion at the end of the season to plot the way forward."

Kallis has been injured in each of the last five Test series South Africa have played. His' last match for South Africa was the Cape Town Test against Pakistan in February. He missed the third Test of that series due to injury and the one-dayers that followed. He took part in the IPL but opted out of the Champions Trophy despite initially indicating interest in playing.

In Kallis' absence, Domingo had begun the process of identifying batsmen for slots in the top order, with JP Duminy, AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis marked for Nos 3, 4 and 5 respectively. However, Domingo said this arrangement wasn't set in stone and that Kallis would be accommodated anywhere at the top of the order.

"Jacques can bat at No. 3 or No. 4 and maybe AB can bat at No. 5 so this doesn't really change our plans," Domingo said. "We will try and find some balance. There will still be a lot of opportunities for younger players."

Haroon Lorgat, Cricket South Africa CEO, welcomed Kallis' decision to commit to the ODI squad. "Jacques is an extraordinary player who appreciates the ODI team-building process that is currently under way," Lorgat said. "His availability is welcomed and CSA will do everything possible to help him achieve his personal ambitions while building a new generation ODI team."

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  • Harmon on August 27, 2013, 22:12 GMT


    A loose & extempore definition for SR would be to see how much the team would score on that SR. If that team total 'seems something to defend" then that SR is quite close to the optimal SR.

    Around 92, totals around 210-220 used to look stiff. India scored 216 vs Pak in WC92 & Pak were under pressure all the time. In those days, 4 RPO was good so anyone whose SR was 65-70 in those days would have done well.

    Of course this is a very fluid situation with several parameters. Some days even 400+ isn't safe & some days teams can defend even 167. But we are talking about the perception whether a given total means something for the bowlers or not.

    SA would score ~220 at the SR of Kallis. 220 was a winning total in 1992 but this is 2013. Even in 2003, 220 wouldn't have been all that stiff a chase.

    Caveat: This is a very loose definition and needs a lot of refinement.

  • Harmon on August 27, 2013, 22:12 GMT


    Nice to see that you talking about specific roles for specific batsmen. Easy for me to show why this "specific role" of being his team's backbone doesn't hold for Kallis The Batsman.

    My reply is a combo of my prev comments…


    Sans Kallis SA score more runs at better SR (35.93@5.06 vs 36.31@5.25).

    If Kallis is the backbone of his team then without this backbone SA Batting should collapse/suffer, isn't it? But the above stat shows that not only does SA batting not suffer but they bat even better in the absensce of this "Backbone".


    Incl Kallis, SA win 64.87% of their matches.

    Exc Kallis, SA win 63.72% of their matches.

    If Kallis is the backbone of his team and plays a "specific role" then without this backbone the results should show significant dip, isn't it? But the above stat shows that the dip is about as thick as water levels in Sahara.

  • Ragavendran on August 27, 2013, 16:35 GMT

    @Harmony111: First off, I agree that strike rate is important in ODI's and T20's. But what exactly is the optimum strike rate and average in these two formats according to you? Below that would you consider dropping everyone under the sun without any bias?

    After that line is drawn in the sand, everybody can draw their swords and start digging in to the stats to reveal flaws of many of the current generation players.

  • Harmon on August 27, 2013, 16:17 GMT

    @Keith Waters:

    Nice try for a comeback by you by talking about that 50 by Kallis. Did you notice against whom it came? It was Zimbabwe + At Home. Indeed a testament to the supreme batting prowess of Kallis if he needs his home knocks vs Zimbabwe as proof of how good a batsman he is.

  • Harmon on August 27, 2013, 16:17 GMT

    @Keith Waters: I have made a claim, presented several stats to back that claim, presented plenty of context for those stats, have rebutted your counterpoints, haven't received rebuttals for those rebuttals and all this while the sole argument of the Kallis fans has been his high avg and high agg but I have rebutted even that argument a number of times here.

    It would be easy for you to imagine that I have some major dispute with Kallis but it isn't the case. Had I been making wild claims without corroborating them or making a single nasty comment and then running away then one might have called me a troll or a baddie but clearly that isn't the case. I have responded to almost everyone who has replied to me here.

    This article would be locked for comments anytime now, I just want to say that while others may have been doing so, I certainly haven't been moving in vain circles.

    And I repeat I don't dislike or hate Kallis.

  • Giles on August 27, 2013, 13:34 GMT

    @Harmony111.... I don't think that your way of using stats to prove your point means much at all. Although it might backup what you're saying about kallis, I believe you're focusing on the wrong thing. As much as SR's are important in ODI's I think they're overated. If everyone in the team needed a high strike rate then there wouldn't be a role for a pinch hitter and no need for openers to face a brand new ball. My point is that everyone has a role in the team and kallis' role has always been to provide the backbone, and every team tries to or should have one of these players. It's built into the number 3 or 4 position. If everyone had high strike rates without one of these players in the team, they would fail quite a lot more with lower scores. By comparing Kallis' pace of playing or strike rates with those of say ponting are irrelevant because ponting went in to bat with a different role for the team. I think that a backbone in ODI's is taken for granted since T20.

  • Dummy4 on August 27, 2013, 12:39 GMT

    actually in all fairness Harmony111 this is pointless We're just going round in circles! best to agree to disagree. You keep thinking Kallis is a poor batsmen I'll keep thinking he is a great player and hopefuly for us Saffa'sl he will just keep doing what he has done for 15+ years

  • Dummy4 on August 27, 2013, 12:07 GMT

    @ Hamorny111 amazing how you keep ignoring the same arguement because it doesnt fit in with your idea? Ok try this Robin Uthappa SR 91 only played 38 games before being discarded Adam Voges SR 90 (20 games) discarded David Hussey (69 games) 91 would you really want him than kallis? Kieswetter SR 89 discarded (46 games) Albie Morkel SR 100 discarded, Devon smith SR 91 in and out of team - so it would seem that to achieve longevity in the game SR is not the be all and end all like you try to make out.

    Oh and heres a little interesting side bit Fastest test 50 in terms of balls? yep you guessed it that man who can't change gears Mr Jacques kallis

    "@Keith Waters: Sans Kallis SA score more runs at better SR (35.93@5.06 vs 36.31@5.25) but concede more runs (26.45@4.64 vs 27.97@4.82)."

    Huh???????????sorry I dont get it who is Sans? think you'll will need to clarify a bit more for me.

  • Harmon on August 27, 2013, 11:28 GMT

    @Keith Waters:

    Sans Kallis SA score more runs at better SR (35.93@5.06 vs 36.31@5.25) but concede more runs (26.45@4.64 vs 27.97@4.82).

    What does this prove? This proves that when Kallis bats for SA, the team actually suffers and when someone else bats in place of Kallis then the team manages to score more runs more quickly.

    Had Kallis been really all that good an ODI batsman then it should have been pretty difficult for a replacement (who most likely would be a rookie or a 2nd choice) to fill in the gap left by Kallis but stats show otherwise. When a replacement who won't be playing regular ODIs can fill in the gap then how can we say Kallis is really that valuable a batsman for SA in ODIs?

    Someone had asked for more context, I think I have given plenty of context along with stats to substantiate my opinion about Kallis. Let me know where you disagree with me over these stats.

  • Harmon on August 27, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    @Grant King: I had talked about Sehwag cos someone had compared Kallis to him, however, tests or Sehwag isn't the point here so set that aside for now. Point here is value of Kallis The Batsman in ODIs for SA.

    His debut onwards, incl Kallis, SA's record --- P316-W205-L97.

    His debut onwards, exc Kallis, SA's record --- P102-W65-L34.

    In other words,

    Incl Kallis, SA win 64.87% of their matches.

    Exc Kallis, SA win 63.72% of their matches.

    Easy to calculate the ***IMMENSE VALUE*** of Kallis in SA's ODI team based on these stats. Splitting hairs, you might say that after all, SA do win a tinie-winie less when Kallis doesn't play but in that case I will leave you to feel happy with that last crumbled biscuit of the packet. :-p