Jacques Kallis is a phenomenon that occurred on 16th October 1975 in Cape Town South Africa. By that time cricket had seen numerous prodigal children who possessed great round abilities but Kallis was even more special.
Early Life And Debut
Jacques Kallis was interested in cricket at an early age, a time when South Africa was serving their ban, young cricketers were churning themselves in hopes of seeing their nation back on the field and representing it. The same was with Kallis who played for his high school where he caught the attention of seniors in the domestic circuit.
Post his schooling days, Kallis played domestic cricket in England where he averaged 98.87 in 14 matches. Looking at his great run, the selectors included him in the South Africa-U-17 team in 1993. The same year he made his first-class debut for Western Province B.
In less than a year, Kallis made his debut for the Proteas against England. It was an unfortunate outing for him as he made a single run on his debut and the 2nd innings were washed away due to rain.
In 1996 Kallis made his ODI debut against England and soon was given a breakthrough when he was selected for the 1996 World Cup.
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Rise To World’s Greatest All-Rounder
Kallis had to struggle with bat and bowl for about a year. Then in 1997 Kallis started delivering match-winning performances for the proteas. In 1998 Kallis with his all-around abilities led South Africa to their only ICC trophy to date, which is the ICC Champions Trophy.
Kallis took 3 wickets in the quarterfinals, 5 wickets in the semi-finals, and scored a match winning 113 runs in the final. He won ‘2 men of the match awards and also the ‘man of the series.’ This performance was an announcement that a legend is in making.
In the 1999 World Cup, Kallis was Proteas Talisman in their journey till the semi-finals. By the coming of 2002, Kallis was ranked as the number 1 rounder by ICC rankings.
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Kallis by then was South Africa’s best batsman and the world’s best all-rounder. In 2003 he achieved a feat that only Sir Don Bradman could do in his days. Kallis scored 5 consecutive centuries in Test cricket.
Years later in 2007, Kallis again scored consecutive centuries but this time he scored 4 in 4 test matches. By the end of his career, Kallis scored 45 test centuries becoming the 2nd on the list of most centuries in test cricket just 6 short of Sachin Tendulkar.
Around 2005 Kallis completed his 10,000 runs in Test cricket and became the only man in history to score 10,000 runs and take 200 test wickets.
To mark his greatness, Kallis was so effortless to switch his style of play in different formats of the game. Suddenly from breaking Test records, he turned his eye to the ODI’s. This time the 2007 Cricket World Cup.
Kallis was the highest run-getter for the Proteas in that edition when he scored 485 runs with an average of 80.83.
Kallis then continued with his hot form in both formats and scored centuries and won player of the series awards incoming series. In 2012 Kallis scored 224 against Sri Lanka, his highest score in Test cricket.
Kallis unlike other players didn’t retire out of age or form he scored a century against India in his last Test in 2013. He further retired from international cricket on 30th July 2014.
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IPL And Post Retirement
Kallis played 25 T20 matches for Proteas and was picked by Royal Challengers Bangalore in the inaugural season of IPL. He spent 3 years there before he was picked by Kolkata Knight Riders in 2011. Kallis won 2 trophies in his spell with the KKR.
Post retiring Kallis took up coaching jobs, he coached KKR in 2015, then he became the batting consultant for the South African team and now consults England’s batsmen.
Statistics And Records
Kallis scored 13,289 runs in Test cricket in 166 matches. This makes him the 3rd highest run-getter in Test cricket’s history. He further is the only player to score 10k runs and take 250+ Test wickets.
He is also the only player in ODI cricket to score 10k runs and take 250+ wickets. In both the formats combined Kallis is the 5th highest run-scorer in cricket.
It is needless to say that Kallis is South Africa’s highest scorer in both Tests and ODI’s. In Test matches, Jacques Kallis has won 23 Man of the match awards the most won by any player.
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