Fri, 16 Oct 2009 13:04:27 GMT

Jacques Kallis: The leading all-rounder in World cricket

Today is a day when South African cricketing giant Jacques Kallis celebrates his 34th birthday. With over 10,000 runs in Tests and One-dayers, Kallis is one of the world's leading all-rounders. On his birthday, we profile the life and times of Kallis.

Jacques Kallis

Kallis did not have the best of starts to his cricketing career, averaging just four in his first Test series against England at home in 1995-96. But it was on the South African tour of Australia in 1997-98, that Kallis really announced his arrival on the international arena. The First test in Melbourne saw Kallis grinding his way to a maiden Test century. The innings was less in flamboyance and more in substance, and the knock cemented his confidence as well as his number three position in the South African line-up for years to come.

In the triangular one-day series later on in the tour, Kallis notched his first one-day international hundred and also began to make an impact as an all-rounder, claiming six wickets in 11 games.

In the summer of 1998-99, the West Indians arrived in South Africa and found Kallis in full bloom. The highlight of the series was his 110-run knock in the first innings of the fourth Test in Cape Town followed by a precious 88 runs in the second at the crease. Both the innings came at a slow scoring rate; Kallis's dour ways fitted the vintage 'Test-style' batting to the hilt. He guarded his wicket like a soldier protecting his post. On the bowling front, Kallis took 17 wickets in the series; his late swing causing posing enough problems for the West Indian batting line up. Kallis was named as the Player of the Series for his match-turning performances and shone into the limelight as the world's leading all-rounder.

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