BBC BLOGS - Test Match Special
« Previous | Main | Next »

Kallis does what he does best

Martin Gough | 00:06 UK time, Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Martin GoughGuyana – It is probably a good thing that the pundit who suggested Jacques Kallis be dropped from the South Africa side following his part in the defeat to Australia is sitting safely back in Johannesburg.

Those piercing blue eyes may not be as menacing as they once were in the delivery stride but they certainly were when the subject came up after his man-of-the-match performance against Ireland.

“I’ve never minded criticism but there is a line you don’t cross and certain people crossed it,” said Kallis, piercing blue eyes directed at his questioner.

“I do remember these things and who these guys are so in the future …”

Kallis's crime during that game against the current world champions in St Kitts was to come in with more than seven runs an over needed, and calmly craft 48 from 63 balls.

South Africa great Barry Richards, who was quoted as calling Kallis “one-dimensional” in the aftermath of the defeat, is unlikely to be ruffled by that last hanging sentence. He went for his shots as a batsman and continues to do so as a media commentator.

The columnist who called for Kallis to be dropped outright may like to change his locks before Jacques returns home.

Since arriving in Guyana, Kallis has calmly managed run chases against Sri Lanka and now Ireland, although he was dropped twice in the 40s before completely sealing the deal on Tuesday.

Has he proved the critics wrong with those two knocks? Probably not, as the manner of both innings did little to refute the feeling he is playing mainly for his average.

There were a couple of perfectly timed drives between point and cover early in his innings but generally he waited for the bad ball and didn’t take any risks.

Let’s take a breath here, though. After 251 one-day internationals, Kallis averages 45.26 with 15 centuries.

There’s nothing wrong with being one-dimensional with stats like that, especially given the big-hitters who follow him in South Africa’s batting order.

Meanwhile, Ireland continue to impress with their energising brand of cricket in the field, as future coach Phil Simmons said, making the most of the talent they have.

Their total batting first was about 30 under par, not helped by being put in having lost the toss and the confusion brought about by three rain breaks.

Boyd Rankin was threatening early on and Andre Botha a master of miserliness right through the middle order.

After being pretty harsh on them coming into this stage, and having seen two of their games, I feel they deserve another win before they go home to their day jobs; it’s just a question of which team it will come against.

Bangladesh look the obvious target on 15 April but, after they made another top team sweat, none of their remaining opponents will be expecting an easy ride.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 01:55 AM on 04 Apr 2007,
  • Larry wrote:

Fair article, Martin. Well done South Africa.
Ireland have again for the fifth time shown what they are made of. Despite being mostly part-timers with day jobs, they are hauling themselves and Irish cricket upwards and onwards. Another performance to silence the arrogant critics.
We are all proud of you guys. Keep it going. Learn as you go. Maybe even take another scalp before you return!
Your day will come!!!

  • 2.
  • At 08:57 AM on 04 Apr 2007,
  • Mahesh S. Panicker wrote:

I am happy about Ireland's performance, but I am more happy that Martin Gough, who's blogs and write ups that I read with great interest some time ago, is showing signs of getting back to his cricketing sens at last.
Martin, I was seriously thinking boycotting your blogs, had you continued in your recent stile, disregarding Ireland, even after they performed well in the super 8s.
that is the best way for a reader to protest, isn't it?

well that's right kallis is a great batsmen and we love him play cricket. well about the critics i just want to say that do what your heart follows and be the best that you can be. don't believe the hype. be on ur own and stand on what you say

  • 4.
  • At 10:42 AM on 04 Apr 2007,
  • Mark Speller wrote:

Despite the stick that uve had martin, i think ur blog is a great read. It would be good for ireland if they beat bangladesh

Hopefully england will put on a good performance today agaisnt sri lanka and get another win on the board.

  • 5.
  • At 11:01 AM on 04 Apr 2007,
  • sam wrote:

yes i completley agree with martin. kallis is the back bone of south african batting. but i think he is more helpful while chasing score less than 6 runs per over. His strike rate need to be improve. i think he also knows this and played relatively better against srilanka after his orthodox inninga against australia that cause s.a match.

  • 6.
  • At 11:29 AM on 04 Apr 2007,
  • Gavin wrote:

Ireland are making the world cup a total bore. Every game they play, ok they're not getting hammered - but is that really heroism?

It can't be both ways. Being taken seriously means taking the criticism that comes along with it. Or are the Irish happy they are at least making it last all day without ever being on top? That's not competition, and it'll never change for the Irish if all they look for is back slaps and world wide congratulations on not getting hammered

South Africa were never in danger of losing, Ireland's only chance of a win is against Bangladesh. What a classic that's gonna be

This is not arrogance - it is frustration that so many games have already been decided in the super 8's phase

As for Kallis, South Africa have two rapid openers, and players that can pick up the run rate all the way through the innings. Kallis is their anquor who doesn't give his wicket away, a class batsman who I'd pay to watch. Against Australia, they were unlucky with Smith retiring hurt, that probably had more to do with the downturn on runrate, along with the Aussies ability to turn openings into match decisive performances

  • 7.
  • At 11:50 AM on 04 Apr 2007,
  • Readite wrote:

England should take a leaf out of Ireland's book after their recent uninspiring displays so far in the competition, fighting right until the end and giving it all that they have got. Credit to Ireland and their fans. Their team ethic and work-rate showed why they have got this far. It's about time England's players pulled their fingers out and showed more character and desire like the irish have, rather than being rather complacent and laid back.

  • 8.
  • At 12:38 PM on 04 Apr 2007,
  • Deano wrote:

Whilst I agree that every team needs a rock in their batting order, if Kallis is the great player that he's constantly made out to be then he'd be able to adapt into a more aggresive mode when required.

Also, his career average is very good, but some of the other stats don't make such great reading. His average vs Australia, who have been the No 1 ODI team for the bulk of his career, is only 33.96 - the measure of a great player is how they perform against the best, and on this front he fails miserably. His career average is losing matches is only 37.86, and as low as 29.56 in games where SA have lost batting second - so he's hardly a man for a crisis either. His bowling stats show similar trends for losing matches and matches against Australia

Ask most cricket fans in Australia about him and they'll regard him as a flat-track bully who goes missing when it matters.

  • 9.
  • At 12:40 PM on 04 Apr 2007,
  • Balls wrote:

Kallis strike rate is in the 70s and if you compare that you fill find its up with the rest of the worlds top batsmen.

  • 10.
  • At 12:42 PM on 04 Apr 2007,
  • Balls wrote:

Kallis strike rate is in the 70s and if you compare that you fill find its up with the rest of the worlds top batsmen.

  • 11.
  • At 12:51 PM on 04 Apr 2007,
  • Craig wrote:

How does that humble pie taste, Martin? Must have been hard to admit you were wrong but congratulations for doing so, even if it was long over due.

  • 12.
  • At 01:04 PM on 04 Apr 2007,
  • Cameron wrote:

Good article Martin, I do have a few additional comments worth noting. The critisism heaped on Kallis after the Australia match was unjustified. No new batsman would have been able to keep up the amazing momentum built by Smith & De Villiers. People seem to have forgotten that Smith & DeVilliers had totally outplayed Australia in terms of runs and run-rate, but instead post match we only heard praise for the Aussies. If anyone should be critised it should be DeVilliers for not getting 100+ and stupidly getting run out no matter how good the fielding. The loss of Smith to severe cramp compounded the situation and if Kallis hadn't have consolidated SA might not even have made it to 298. Kallis is one of those few players like a Shane Warne who will walk into any team around the world and you can guarantee that his team-mates are grateful that they play alongside him instead of against him!!!

  • 13.
  • At 01:50 PM on 04 Apr 2007,
  • Graham wrote:

I really don't understand why so many people are upset about Ireland and Bangladesh being in the Super 8's. They won through their groups fair and square. I love watching India and Pakistan, both have great players but this is a tournament and you have to win games to go through - they didn't - they are out. England look in danger of not qualifying for the football European Championship - am I going to complain if they don't get there that the tournament has been ruined by their abscence? No - if you can't get through your group you have no right to be there - good luck to Ireland and Bangladesh, frankly they need it but they have earned the chance to try and cause an upset.

  • 14.
  • At 02:29 PM on 04 Apr 2007,
  • Goog Lee wrote:

Changing locks in South Africa is such a common practice

anyway, I'm sure Kallis, being only a cricketing criminal,

is quite happy not to add to the burden.

  • 15.
  • At 02:43 PM on 04 Apr 2007,
  • Larry wrote:

Gavin, it may not be arrogance on your part but it shows that you do not appreciate, or do not chose to appreciate, where Ireland have come from in a matter of months. South Africa are rated #1 in world cricket and Ireland, despite being mostly international novices and getting bad breaks with the the rain stops, put up decent resistance against one of the very top teams.
It would be more boring if the same Super 8 group played each other forever with no development of the game elsewhere in the world. I think that South Africa took Ireland seriously, that Zimbabwe also did and Pakistan are sorry that they possibly didn't give it their very best attention.
Your comments smack of condescension and distain for the Ireland and Bangladesh teams. I hope that the Irish team read comments like yours and gain further motivation in the matches ahead and continue to drive Irish cricket onwards and upwards. Maybe that would upset you even more!

  • 16.
  • At 03:13 PM on 04 Apr 2007,
  • Gavin wrote:

Larry, even if Ireland do improve (already arrived apparently, what with White claiming to "match England"), they'll all clear off to try and play for England

  • 17.
  • At 04:40 PM on 04 Apr 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

Kallis was partly to blame for our loss against the Aussies. On that I agree with Barry Richards and Ricky Ponting (for the one and only time).

He hit 48? So what, we still lost. He was hitting 4,8 off an over when what we needed was 9. That is all well and good when you have Smith, Gibbs, De Villiers, Kemp at the other end. But as soon as it was him and Prince it was game over. He's supposed to be one of the best batsmen in the world, he should be able to adjust to the situation and raise his run rate if necessary.

I don't agree that he should be dropped however. He is class, he just wasn't the man for that job, or able to adjust to the job required of him. I must point a finger somewhere in Smiths' direction for his captaincy. Dreadfully I find myself agreeing with the Aussies once again. He didn't seem able to adjust his plan of attack. He bowled Pollock straight through even though he was getting hit at 7 or 8 an over and then he sent Kallis and Prince in to a situation which they weren't able to deal with..or a pinch hitter may have been better suited to. When Kallis came in we were only a wicket or two down and I believe ahead of the required rate...but I knew we had lost the game.

In the interest of fairness, he batted well against the Irish, but it will be interesting when we play another game where we need 8 or 9 an over..will he be happy to let everyone else make the runs?

  • 18.
  • At 02:10 AM on 05 Apr 2007,
  • Larry wrote:

Hey Gavin, looks like they should try for Sri Lanka instead. It looks like a better prospect!!!

  • 19.
  • At 09:16 AM on 05 Apr 2007,
  • Admire Thonje wrote:

kallis is the backbone of that squad.his omission is tantamount to declaring disinterest in the world cup by south africa

  • 20.
  • At 01:28 PM on 05 Apr 2007,
  • Jamie Dowling wrote:

Jacques Kallis is a class batsman, his stats back that assertion up extremely well. The frustrating thing is that everything about him - stats, presence and ability - says that he should dominate more than he does. If anyone has the talent to take attacks apart with precision and impeccable technique then that person is Jacques Kallis.

So it was frustrating to see Jacques score at a relatively slow rate because we want to see him dominate more.

That was my frustration. I feel there can be more from Jacques and would love to see that.

  • 21.
  • At 04:18 PM on 05 Apr 2007,
  • Abdul Nadeem (Pakistan) wrote:

I think current form of the Kallis can lead the South Africa to the World Cup victory stand for the first time in the history. He is a thinking player and always plays according to the situation with the best of his efforts. His mental toughness, positive attitude and commitment to win, easily distinguish him from the other players of the team. Without him the batting of South African team is highly unreliable especially in this World Cup. I wish him very best of luck.

This post is closed to new comments.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.