Being an all-rounder is the toughest job in cricket, as one needs to give a balanced performance with both bat and ball. It requires a tremendous amount of skill, endurance, and temperament. Jacques Kallis had all of these in abundance. The man could bat for long periods of time and could bowl long spells with the ball as well.
Kallis stood as a rock for the major part of his career around which South African cricket thrived. Technically sound with the bat, absolutely lethal with the ball and had a safe pair of hands on the field. Kallis was a complete cricket package who earned massive respect and appreciation from the cricketing world.
Kallis had a usual batting style and didn’t have any uniqueness to his game which meant that he wasn’t considered in the same bracket as other all-time greats like Sachin Tendulkar and Don Bradman.
But the numbers tell a different story. With the ball, he was no Wasim Akram or Allan Donald but whenever he bowled, he’d change the flow of the game. Often used as a strike bowler to break partnerships.
Kallis has left behind a great legacy for world cricket which will live forever. As the South African legend turns 41, here we analyse why he is regarded as the greatest cricketer ever to have graced a cricket field.
Consistent performances with both bat and ball:
Jacques Kallis’s stats across all forms of cricket will leave you spellbound. He is the only cricketer to have scored more than 10000 runs and taken over 250 wickets in both Tests and ODIs. In his illustrious career, Kallis has notched up 13,289 runs in the longer format of the game in 166 Test matches.
His average of 55.37 is superior to that of Tendulkar, Dravid, Ponting, and Lara. But, what makes Kallis stand out is his wicket taking ability with the ball. A bowler, who is predominantly an away swinger, and has the capability of surprising the batsman with pace and bounce.
The strongly built all-rounder has scalped 292 wickets at an average of 32.65.
The 41-year-old had equal success in the 50 over format of the game as well. The right-hander aggregated 11,574 runs with 17 centuries and 86 half-centuries at an average of 44.36. With the ball, Kallis has taken 273 wickets at an impressive average of 31.79. Having such impressive records in both forms of the game makes Kallis an all time great.