Jacques Kallis is widely regarded as one of the greatest players to ever grace the cricket field. Whether it is with the bat, the ball or even in the slips, the ever present South African has dominated the sport like few before him.
With a batting average of 56.94, Kallis is statistically better than the great Sachin Tendulkar. His 43 Test centuries have him second in the all-time list, only behind the Little Master.
A testament to his ability, Kallis has continued to improve as he has grown older. In his 150th Test match, the all-rounder hit his top score, with 224 against Sri Lanka.
Touted as the next big thing in South African cricket, Kallis caught the eye of Australians when he produced a gritty century to save the 1997 Boxing Day match at the MCG.
Kallis is most noted for scoring five centuries in five consecutive Test matches, not once, but on two separate occasions. His incredible feats saw him win the ICC Player of the Year in 2005, as well as Test Player of the Year.
He has also been a star in the shorter forms of the game. His 485 runs at 80.83 saw him top the charts for South Africa in the 2007 World Cup, while he has also enjoyed a stellar career in the IPL since its inception in 2008.
While his batting receives most of the attention, Kallis’ bowling is not to be taken lightly. He has taken 280 wickets at Test level, while also nabbing 270 scalps in ODI’s. His medium pace bowling was crucial in the early 2000’s, where his swing and bounce troubled even the best batsmen in the world. Nowadays, he can take a back seat to the likes of Steyn, Morkel and Philander, but still steps up when his captain needs him.
Labelled by some as the greatest all-rounder of all time, Kallis is the key player in South Africa’s squad. The only player in history to have scored over 11,000 runs and to have taken over 250 wickets in both Test and ODI’s, Kallis might just cement the title of greatest cricketer of all time if he can guide his country to another famous series win down under.