The line between victory and defeat is sometimes a thin wire. If not for an overhead camera cable, Royal Challengers Bangalore might not have lost their opening game of the Champions League Twenty20 against Cape Cobras. JP Duminy was on 21 when he lofted Anil Kumble towards Ross Taylor at long-off but the ball deflected off a wire and the catch was spilt. The ball was called dead but the game came alive after that as Duminy slaughtered the bowling to win the game for Cobras with an unbeaten 99.

That defeat left Bangalore needing to beat Otago to qualify for the next round and today the home side was not hindered by freaky speed breakers. Everything went according to plan. Jacques Kallis' solid all-round performance ensured that it did, and he was the rock around which the other stroke-makers sculpted their crowd-pleasing acts.

Kallis' effort was typical: a solid half-century, which was overshadowed by more aggressive cameos from his team-mates, followed by an unspectacular but incisive spell with the new ball that broke the back of Otago's chase. He has turned in such performances for a long time now but he still has his critics. When Kallis, one of the game's great allrounders across all formats, was dropped from South Africa's squad for the inaugural World Twenty20 in 2007, not many fans were aghast. He was also criticised after the first IPL in India the following year, when Bangalore finished second from bottom. Even Ray Jennings, who had just taken over as coach in the second season, talked about challenging Kallis.

Before the second season of the IPL in South Africa, Jennings had a chat with Kallis about his role and mindset and the allrounder said he was not only hurt by last season's efforts but aimed to end the new season as the best batsman in the format. He went on to have a good season and has started this Champions League Twenty20 in similar fashion.

Kallis' solidity today allowed Robin Uthappa to provide Bangalore's innings with an aggressive start and Virat Kohli and Ross Taylor to give it a sensational finish. He went about his innings with trademark rigour. There were a couple of sixes towards the end of his innings, and a flamboyant carve over point, but for the most part Kallis ticked along with ones and twos.

At the end of the game Kallis shook hands with his captain Anil Kumble, walked away quietly, mumbled a few words during the post-match ceremony and didn't even come to the press conference. Uthappa came instead and was inevitably asked about the prior questioning of Kallis' place in the side and in the format. "He has answered your own question," was Uthappa's quick response. "He is a phenomenal cricketer, a world-class cricketer. The skills he showed today to take one catch, score 70-odd runs and take three wickets, just shows that he is a champion cricketer."

It's a cross that Kallis might have to carry forever. Cricket fans furiously debate over his "great" allrounder status. They murmur: Oh he bats in a bubble, never changes gears and never quite dominates as he seems to be capable of. They even call him selfish. In 2007 the former South African batsman Barry Richards called him "one-dimensional" and added that "he lacks the ability to sum up a match situation and adapt accordingly."

Kallis wasn't shaken though. "They can say what they like about me," he had said. "I just don't care, not in the slightest. I've realised what works for me and I'm going to keep playing to my strengths." He did exactly that against Otago and all he had to say at the end of it was that today was his day.

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at Cricinfo