Kallis does what he does best
Guyana – 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.