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03 Jan 2012 07:45
South Africa’s premier all-rounder, Jacques Kallis, will play his 150th Test match on Tuesday when the Proteas face Sri Lanka in their third and final Test match of the series in Cape Town.
Kallis, aged 36, made his debut against England in December 1995 and has accumulated 12 036 Test runs at an average of 56.24.
He is the fourth highest run-maker in Test cricket behind Sachin Tendulkar (15 288), Rahul Dravid (13 172) and Ricky Ponting (12 778).
While scoring 40 centuries for his country, Kallis achieved his first and only double-century—201 not out—against India in Centurion a year ago.
“As an all-rounder, to play 150 Tests at the high standards Jacques has produced throughout his career is fantastic,” Proteas Test captain Graeme Smith said on Monday.
“He is still extremely motivated to do well and when we go to New Zealand, England and Australia later in the year, he’s going to have to play a key role for us ... It’s a big year for all of us and everybody wants to be successful.”
Though he recently dropped down the Test rankings, Kallis is still regarded as one of the top all-rounders in the world with 271 Test wickets, including five five-wicket hauls.
But with only one score above 50 from his last seven outings Kallis has not enjoyed his best season.
To make matters worse, he made his first “pair”—two ducks in the same match—against Sri Lanka in Durban last week and received a hard time of it from his teammates.
“It was his first pair in his career so the guys have jumped on it and given him a bit of stick,” Smith said laughingly.
“Now he knows what most of us have felt throughout our careers so we rubbed it in as much as we could.”
Kallis would be the first to admit he had not performed to his potential, said Smith, and he would be eager to turn things around.
“He’s the most stubborn guy in the world and there’s no doubt he’ll be really hungry to put things right,” Smith added.
“I don’t think he’s produced the standards that he’s obviously done throughout his career and, deep down, he’ll have a good fire burning to want to put that right in this Test match.”—Sapa
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