Monday, December 13, 2010

Opinions On...Jacque Kallis

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Jacque Kallis has affected no stumping in his career.

Other than that he has done everything. Scored lots of runs and centuries. Taken so many wickets that only 3 of his countrymen have ever taken more. Only a handful of international players have played more matches than him and even fewer have taken more catches than him. He has even been captain.

But no stumping.

That however is not why Jacque Kallis is never given his due as a remarkable all-rounder. Jacque Kallis is perhaps too over qualified to be an all rounder. He is too correct, reliable and prolific with the bat to be thought of as an allrounder. That and he just doesn't look beautiful doing his stuff.

All rounders have to be bowlers first who never realize their potential as batsmen. Numbers wise...may be a 90-100 Tests, 300-400 odd wickets not more than 5000-6000 runs and not drop catches.

Outside of numbers they need to be...

Rustic natural athletes like a Kapil Dev.

Flamboyant, outrageously handsome with a spectacular bowling action like Imran Khan.

Whole hearted, larger than life, inspiring and storied like an Ian Botham

Strong, fast, efficient and think your side to wins by taking over almost all of the wicket taking workload like a Richard Hadlee.

Play attractive and on rare occasions high quality cricket like a Chris Cairns or Andrew Flintoff.

Jacque Kallis is different.

He is a bit too fat to be athletic.

His run up to bowling is laborious. As if he were climbing a wall. He seems to exert twice as much effort...well it was thrice but he has made his action more efficient his deliveries than lets say a Shoab Akhtar or Bret Lee for roughly 75% of the output.

By most standards he is adeduately ugly.

I have always switched channels to avoid seeing him bat. Nothing in his batting is compelling for a non South African to watch. Even when he is competing with Sachin for the Maroon Underwear in the IPL.

I don't know anyone who are Kallis fans.

I have never seen him drop catches but heven't noticed when he notched up 160 odd catches either.

But if you just look at the man's numbers you would be excused if you said Gary Sobers was the Jacque Kallis of his time. Why no one ever says that...


Mahek said...

No one ever says that because no one wants to accept the fact that performance trumps reputation when it comes to the final result. Even you have this really subjective definition of allrounder wherein you've used past greats to form a template of one. Kallis doesn't fit that that template, hence you're not impressed by him.

To me, he would be the first name on my team sheet in any conditions against any side. Greatest cricketer of the modern era.

Vidooshak said...

Mahek - Putting the "greatest tag" on Kallis is getting a little carried away. He is by far the most statistically accomplished allrounder and one of the best batsmen around. But take Sehwag, Tendulkar, Laxman, Pietersen, Ponting, Hussey, Amla, Sanga and DPMD and tell me honestly that he towers over them all. He belongs in the group certainly. He might get over Ponting and Hussey due to their recent form, but how many innings of Kallis can you count that you will remember. I think that's the point Golandaaz is making.

Unknown said...

Irrespective of the fact that he may not be the most attractive cricketer to watch, I still rate Kallis as not only amongst the best of the modern era, but also amongst the all time best.

In fact, when Cricinfo was doing the All-Time XI selection, I had written in my blog that amongst the batting all rounders of all time, I would rate Kallis higher than Sobers. The only reason that I still picked Sobers in my team ahead of Kallis was because Sobers added a bit of 'spinning' element in the team.

Coming back to the point, Kallis has gone on serving South Africa quietly and steadily over all the years. His work is done with clinical efficiency and he is amongst the unsung heroes of this generation of cricketers. I reckon that South Africa will come more to terms with the man's greatness only after his retirement... like a lot of great artists who get recognition posthumously.

Mahek said...

Vid, I'd say he's better than all those you mentioned. Maybe not if one considers just his batting, but he's an allrounder and none of the players you mentioned are. Infact, I consider him a better batsman than all but Tendulkar in that list.

I would remember a lot of his innings if I were South African. But even if I didn't, how does it make him any less of an allrounder than anyone in the history of the game?

"Experts" have created this template of how an allrounder is supposed to be, how the world's best team is supposed to be. Such definitions are highly subjective and come with a lot of bias. It's not Kallis' fault that his performances are taken for granted.

Golandaaz said...


Yes, we have this classical view of how an all rounder should be. Kallis does not fit into that.

That's exactly what I am trying to highlight in this post

Golandaaz said...

Vidoo, as Mahek said in a later comment. Kallis is perhaps as good as any of his contemporary batsmen and in addition will retire with close to 300 wickets and a staggering 175 odd catches. The man is a machine and yet gets no accolades.

He should be the benchmark for all rounders.

Golandaaz said...

SJ, I agree with you completely. But Kallis is a good example of why perception, image and elegance matter over cold hard facts and numbers.

It is like, I know Kallis should be celebrated more than he is, but at the same time I understand why. Then man is too dry, grumpy, in elegant and workmanlike.

It is like watching Sanjay Bangar on steriods

Mahek said...

Gol, I love cold hard facts and numbers. Hence I rate Kallis as the greater cricketer of the modern era :)

Nishant said...

Problem with Kallis is he "seems" to be a machine. Off hand cant recall a single Kallis special innings or a bowling spell. He has been performing like the Duracell bunny,just going on and on and on.
He is efficient & statistically the best but somehow havent met a die hard Kallis fan as yet

Unknown said...

"Duracell bunny"... lol!

Golandaaz said...

Nishant, thanks for stopping by...just imaging, if Kallis had Imran's looks and Flintoff's gusto he probably would be celebrated as one of the greatest cricketers ever

Vidooshak said...

I think more than his looks, its the fact that he hasn't had that series altering impact like a Flintoff or a Dravid or a Laxman or a Warne or a Lillee or a Botham or an Imran or a Kapil or a Bradman or a..........

Golandaaz said...

I vehemently disagree. Its because he is too dry. Lacks flair. He has scored something like 11K runs hasn't he and 267 wickets and 160 catches. I am pretty certain he has been instrumental in winning many series. He is just condemned to be a character actor

knowledge_eater said...

Kallis is in wrong profession. He should have been UFC fighter or wrestler or rugby player. He is beast. If he can't be successful with muscle mass like then what can!

Yes, he is boring cricketer, have you ever seen him celebrate with even lot of joy other than few gentle expressions!

He is machine and without a doubt after his retirement, he will be called one of the best South African cricketer ever. I would ban him to play in gully cricket though, and I would convince him to have friendly arm wrestle with me.

My favorite Kallis shot and only one is "Standing Tall Coverdrive without moving feet"

Want to see young afridi without beard.

Check this out

and if you think Kallis is ugly looking, then please check out his GF's recent youtube video. Don't be jealous with his looks. hahaha

Golandaaz said...

hadn't seen that catch before....thanks for sharing!

as for women who fall for looks...i don't believe these exist