South Africa in Sri Lanka 2014 July 3, 2014

SA wait on Kallis fitness

Jacques Kallis will be under the close watch of South Africa's medical team to determine whether he requires further treatment for back stiffness ahead of the ODI series against Sri Lanka. Kallis was withdrawn from the practice match as a precaution after he felt discomfort during the warm-ups but South Africa's management team are hopeful he will be available for the first match on Sunday.

"The physio worked on him today, we are going to monitor him overnight and if he does not respond to therapy, we plan to get a scan done tomorrow," Mohammed Moosajee, South Africa's team manager who is also a medical doctor, said.

"Jakes is the ultimate professional when it comes to preparation. He had a good net session yesterday with bat and ball but from time to time his back does seize up so we've got to monitor it and see how he responds. By tomorrow we will have a better understanding of where he is."

Kallis was the only member of South Africa's 15-man squad who did not feature in the practice match in Moratuwa, despite plans for him to play. He was due to take back his preferred No. 3 spot in the batting line-up, where he is expected to be stationed until next year's World Cup. Kallis will also likely have a small bowling role although his back condition could prove decisive in his role with the ball. Moosajee could not confirm whether Kallis would be picked as a batsman only.

While South Africa will be sweating over the availability of Kallis, they can rest easy about the form of most of their other players. Their frontline seamers all picked up wickets on what Hashim Amla described as "lively" wicket, while all the major batsman - Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers and JP Duminy - were among the runs.

Amla, who has been playing county cricket for Surrey, was the most successful with a 79-ball century and explained it was in his plans to get in and then up the ante. "Scoring wasn't easy, " he said. "The thinking was to get a few runs and then retire and get the other guys in. When I got to 50, I thought it was a good time to get the scoring rate up."

Despite South Africa's convincing win against an invitation side which consisted of all but two players who have represented Sri Lanka internationally, Amla said the team will still need to lift their game when the series starts. "There is always a big intensity increase in an international match that you don't get from a warm-up," he said. "The warm-up has its purpose and that was served here but international cricket is wonderful, that's the intensity we enjoy."

South Africa have three more training sessions ahead of the first match of the series, which takes place in Colombo on Sunday.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on July 6, 2014, 4:02 GMT

    Kallis is an underrated player in ODI's ,like dravid for india and shiv for chanderpaul ,kallis must improve his fitness and kallis at no 3 is the best option for a team ,as he can rotate the strike very well. Having quinton de cock ,amla and kallis at top 3 ,SA batting line up is very strong,followed by ABD,DUMINY ,FAF and miller . In case kallis is tired ,duminy and faf can send down few overs to reduce kallis workload and duminy has improved his bowling over the years and faf is a decent leg spinners ,who stopped bowling off late due to a troubled shoulder,having kallis back,the unlucky player to miss out is ryan mclaren,he is a good bowling all rounder for SA.

  • Dummy4 on July 5, 2014, 16:36 GMT

    Oh Common Kallis.. You can make it. Really would love to see you batting. Most probably this will be your last time in Sri Lanka.

  • Dummy4 on July 5, 2014, 0:46 GMT

    @Chris Campling. If I remember correctly Kallis at his choice decided to retire from International cricket after South Africa's last test series with India.

  • Dummy4 on July 4, 2014, 11:18 GMT

    one of the few sadnesses of the kkr win in the ipl was the apparent decline of jacques kallis. doing well in the odis against sri lanka would be a much more appropriate way to say goodbye. and who knows? perhaps he'll do well enough to come back into the test side. always welcome

  • sidh on July 4, 2014, 9:22 GMT

    Sl pitches are flatest in the world.thats why above 900 runs in a inning scored in!! also even bangaladesh batsmans score near 600 runs in a inning in SL.this shows the quality of pitches in SL.thats why most test matches in sl ended in draw.but indian pitches are spining and turning but initialy good for batting & fast seam bowling.thats why in last 30 test matches played in india, 27 matches gave result.

  • Wayne on July 4, 2014, 4:40 GMT

    Greatest game - would love Stiaan VZ to be included in the one day squad. As I noted before, JK is the man, greatest cricketer ever, but at some stage we've got to move on from him. We are never going to have another like him, so no use trying to replace him, but we have to look forward.

  • David on July 4, 2014, 3:31 GMT

    @ BokkeForever wants to "get one of the young kids in rather (than Kallis) and build for the future."

    Why? If JK is fit, which "kid" should replace him? Kid Faf? Kid JP? Kid AB? Kid Hash? Kid Ryan? Kid Vern? Kid Imran? Kid Wayne? Kid Dale?

    The kid is already keeping and opening. There are no other kids on tour, especially any who are all rounders, are there? Hmmm….. this is quite a conundrum. Where to find a kid to replace the man that NO ONE IN CRICKET CAN REPLACE? There is not another player, in any country, like the King.

    If you think he will be picked on sentimental value, think again. He will play if he warrants the position. And, take the time to note what all the Sri Lankans have to say about the King. They must know something you don't, I guess?

  • Krishna on July 3, 2014, 21:15 GMT

    If Kallis can join SA team back it will be a big boost not only to the team in this series but also for WC 2015.

  • Wayne on July 3, 2014, 20:39 GMT

    I have always been the biggest Kallis fan - absolutely respect all he has done for SA cricket, but there comes a time when everyone, no matter how great, needs to move on and in the process let the team move on too. Jakes, with the greatest of respect, that time has come for you. Let's get one of the young kids in rather and build for the future. Still love you man!

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