Does Kallis ever get the respect he should?

Jaques Kallis

There is no doubt that Jacques Kallis is the greatest South African to play cricket, but does he get the same respect worldwide? When asking someone for an instant answer as to who is the best cricketer of the last ten/twenty years, the normal answers that flow off the tongue are Tendulkar, Warne, Ponting and Murlitharan. His name is not always the first you think of. This is a wrong way of thinking, as he is up there as the greatest ever allrounder.

It seems that outside of South Africa Kallis is regarded as a great player but never mentioned in the same breathe as people such as Lara, Tenulkar or Warne. Also the send off that Kallis received was not not very highly publicised, especially comparing this with other great players to have retired.

For consistency with the bat, ball and field he has to be up there with the above listed players. He has sixty two international centuries to his name,  aswell as a massive five hundred and seventy seven wickets also holding the record for most catches in in test cricket. He may not lead the charts for either wickets or centuries but he is up there in both lists. I hate to compare players from different era’s but his stats rack up better than of Viv Richards, from what I have heard the greatest allrounder ever. The only negative that can be labelled against Kallis is that in his later years as an international player he seemed to play a little bit more of a selfish game. For example on a few occasions the team needed quick runs but he played a slow innings.

If someone was to ask me now who is the greatest cricketer over the last decade, my answer would be:

-The greatest batsman is Sachin Tendulkar

-The greatest bowler is Shane Warne

-The greatest allrounder is Jacques Kallis

Jacques Kallis greatest moments:

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Comparing the careers of Graeme Smith & Kevin Pietersen

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Graeme Smith and Kevin Pietersen share many characteristics. They are both South African, both aggressive batsmen and both very opinionated. After the retirements of Tendulkar and Kallis, loosing these players is international crickets loss. While Smith was in total control of his retirement it was taken out of KP’s hands. It cant be argued that either player has not become a great for their country. Smith being the inspirational captain for South Africa whilst Pietersen was his sides star man.  Below I have listed a comparison of the players in different categories to see if there is any separation of these two greats.

Batting:

The left handed Smith was a very determined has always opened the batting for South Africa, this may have given him a slight advantage over the England star. The former South Africa captain scored a total of 37 international centuries. KP has an equally impressive 32 centuries to his name. This seems to make them both equal on batting ability seeing as Smith has played a few more games, that probably explains the slightly higher batting average for Pietersen also. In terms of paying money to watch one of the two I would have to give KP the slight edge., for his extra flair and flamboyance. Winner: Pietersen

Bowling:

Neither player was renowned for their bowling, but both took a few wickets. Smith taking 26 international scalps and Pietersen 17. This is not really a category that we should be judging them on. winner: N/A 

Fielding:

Having such a big frame both players found it hard to be top class fielders. Smith was useful as a slip fielder whilst KP was mainly employed around a boundary. I think this is another draw. Winner: draw

Captaincy:

Whilst Pietersen could have been a good captain, he didnt last long. Too many arguments throughout his career seems to be a running theme. Smith on the other hand was probably the best captain of the last ten years. Winner: Smith

Team Player:

If you sat down with a group of guys and introduced them to both Smith and Pietersen they would think both are ultra aggressive people. KP is far more controversial, having been a problem in almost every team he has played in. Over the years Graeme Smith has mellowed down, he is now a likeable character for opposition players. He always put his team first, the classic example of this would be his dislike to Pietersen, which has now fizzled away.

Please list below who you think out of the two is better and why? Also dont forget to vote in the poll:

South Africa v India series COULD have been as good as The Ashes!

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The Indian cricket team have set off for their mission to conquer South Africa. This much anticipated series has been dubbed as a make or break series for the current side. The current crop of talent seems to be able to destroy most teams at home, barring England. Conversely they have failed miserably on their last two big tours abroad. Another pounding on an away tour will result in this side being labelled as flat track bullies, but a win will change public opinion to something more positive.

My problem with the tour is that it is a very short tour. The whistle stop tour means that we probably will not learn too much about both teams. I believe that cricket is all about personal battles, I would have loved to see how Virat Kohli faced up to Dale Stein over a five test match series. What is surprising is that there are only three ODI internationals, normally India play at least six or seven.

The two match test series is pretty pointless. Winning or not loosing this series could be down to luck. For example the first match could be rained off, this then becomes a one match series, then anything could happen. It doesn’t make one side better than the other. Factors such as winning the toss in the first match could play a part in winning this series.

Questions must be asked of the scheduling, why did India fit in a silly home series against the West Indies to facilitate the retirement of Sachin? Instead India could have had a longer tour of South Africa, adding to the importance of this series between two of the giants in international cricket. In my opinion the longevity of an Ashes series makes that a much more intriguing series to follow. The BCCI seems to be making Indian cricket cheap, thus loosing die hard fans by making the Indian side play constant short series’s. It is not fair on the Indian players who will not get a chance to adapt to the South African conditions, they will be back home before this adaptation period will take place.

Australia Surprise South Africa as Clarke breaks more records

Let me first say that I didn’t think Australia would be a match for South Africa in this series, I guess I have been proved wrong. I did however write an article last month where I predicted Australia would rise again, but I never thought it would have been so soon. 

The score 482 on day one is only 12 runs short of the all time highest score on day 1 of any test. This is largely down to Warner at the top of the innings setting the tone, with a strike rate over 100. 

In the first test the Aussies proved that their batsmen were a match for South Africa if not outplaying them. The plaudits will go to the inform skipper, he has been on the form of his life since taking over and has subsequently put to rest all doubts about his captaincy. 

In making his fourth double century of the year Michael Clarke now has over taken fellow Australian legends Ponting and Bradman for making the most double centuries in one calender year. If he gets one more double century any time in his career as captain then he will equal Brian Lara as the player with most double centuries as captain.

It seems that Clarke now has a team to slowly work their way back to the summit of test cricket, he is just pushing them on a little quicker. Having a few strong sides in test cricket is important, and right now Aus, SA, Eng and India have pretty strong teams, which makes for great matches. 

I think that some people thrive on the pressure of captaincy, this can defiantly be said of Clarke and I believe Alistair Cook as well. I still hold that the next Ashes will go to England as they are playing at home, but Australia will no doubt put up a good show. All of that is after this great series against South Africa, who are by no means out of the match and series yet.  

How England could surprise India but South Africa will prevail

The excitement of test cricket returned last night, two fascinating series between some of the best teams in the world will run simultaneously. In my opinion India are the best team in the sub-continent and when they are on form they are almost unbeatable at home. 

The question which should be asked is if England can take advantage of India’s new batting line up. The retirement of Laxman and Dravid could be the chance that England have been waiting for. Add to this the poor form which Sehwag and Gambhir have been going through, India’s well known batting strength could struggle. 

England also have players such as Bairstow (even if he doesn’t play), Bell and Pietersen who are all on form with the bat. Samit Patel looks the real deal as a test allrounder and the bowlers are pretty good. The good news for England is that Broad and Finn seem likely to be fit for the first test. Another factor that may favour the Englishmen is that they now have three genuine spinners. They could actually play all three in a match, not that I think they will. Over the winter England struggled against Ajmal and Hearth, so alot rests on Ashwin. We do not know how England will play Yadav but it is clear to see that Zaheer Khan is not the same bowler which has troubled world batsmen all these years.

I personally think that Sehwag and Gambhir had tons of experience so either or both of them will click very soon. The middle order has talent, even if they are inexperienced. Virat Kohli hasn’t played that much but already looks like the real deal as a test player. I can only see this being a close series, but I think India may just edge it, even though England could cause India alot of problems.

The other series may not be as close. After day one of the first test South Africa are 255/2. The number one side in the world looked like that on day one. The ever reliable pair of Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis should both score centuries tomorrow. This could be a hard day for Australia to come back from. The second day will be important for them. The pitch does look like a good batting wicket, but surely after South Africa are done with it, the pitch could change.

The loss of Shane Watson does not help to the cause. Saying all that I think if Watson was fit for the next few matches and Australia happened to find a good spinner from somewhere they could have made the series closer than it will be. One thing is clear though, Australia always have fighters in their team, people such as Peter Siddle and Ponting will battle hard. 

World T20 – South Africa


This team is vastly experienced in all forms of the game, they are currently number1 in test cricket and are close to number 1 in ODI cricket. They could cap off an awesome year by winning some silverware. 

South Africa have a always had the tag of Chokers, in knock out tournaments, this is something which they would want to change. 

The new guy in-charge is A.B de Villiers, he has carried on the role that Smith had done over the past few years. Gary Kirsten should also be considered here, he has past experience of winning this competition, and it seems he has a teams that can also win this competition. 

In Hashim Amla they have a player who is on top form, a player which will surely cash in with many runs in Sri Lanka. They have a good middle order who  are all capable of scoring big, the captain is a player who is inventive a plays creative shots. They have a long batting line up, with Albie Morkel and Wayne Parnell capable of hitting the ball long and hard. 

Young Players to watch:

  • Richard Levi: Although his technique is in serious question, he is a player that can hit the ball out of the park. He scores quick and holds the record for the quickest century, 117 not out off only 45 balls. He uses brute force, powering his way to big scores. 
My predictions:

In my opinion South Africa have the best allround team. In Kallis they have a player who can do anything, he plays a big role in the team. Dale Stein and Morkel is one of the best bowling partnerships in world cricket, aided by Botha and Peterson the spinners who do a good job. I think they will be FINALISTS.

England dethroned by the new NO.1 South Africa



The view that test cricket is dead should be banished, this series has well and truly put a stop to that thought. What a match, what a series. South Africa take the 3 match series 2-0 which means that they have become the new number 1 test team. 

The first thing to say about the game was that England battled hard as they did through out the series, but all in all I believe South Africa deserve the series win. From Day 2 of the second test South Africa were in control of this series, Kallis and  Amla draining the life out the England bowlers. 

There is no one player who has not contributed to the rise to the summit of test cricket, in particular the rise of Phillander, a bowler who has been a key part of the bowling attack over the last year. It was also great to see the team and Smith pay tribute to Mark Boucher who has contributed greatly to this achievement. 

Two other names to mention for this feet are those of Allan Donald and Garry Kersten. The later being a coach that in his short career as coach so far has taken India to an ICC T20 world cup, ODI world cup, top of the test rankings and now followed that up with taking South Africa to the test summit. Another sign for showing his greatness is that when he left India they fell straight down in all forms of the game.

The key battles:

Graeme Smith v Andrew Strauss: This battle was clearly one for Smith to savour, he outscored the England captain, and made some brave decisions whilst in the field. Smith also become the most capped captain through the series. I believe calls for Strauss to retire are a little premature as there is no viable replacement as an opener. 

Graeme Swann v Imran Tahir: Although it can be said that neither really shone through the series, Tahir performed far far better than his English counterpart. Swann also was left out the 2nd test at Headingly. 

James Anderson v Dale Steyn: This was the battle that everyone was waiting for, two of the best bowlers in the world going against each other. There were spells where Anderson was good but it seems that Steyn on each occasion stepped up when he was needed.  

Where do the teams go from here:

South Africa will try and emulate the great sides of the past in trying to stay a few years at the number one ranking, this is something the great West Indian and Australian sides have managed in the past. They are currently top of the T20 rankings and im sure they will also want to get to the number 1 spot for ODI cricket also. What matters most to them now is winning a major tournament, they have been called chokers in the past, something they will want to change. It seems they have the players in each form of the game to achieve this goal.  The balance of the side looks strong, with an exceptional bowling attack and a very talented batting line up. Much depends on both the futures of Smith and Kallis in the long run.

England will want to bounce back from this loss, they still are a good test team. A few minor tweaks maybe needed. I believe more pressure needs to be put on the unflattering Swann. Bairstow looked a real star in the last test and should continue his cricket education in the team. A tough tour of India follows the T20 world cup of which England are champions, the future for England seems bright.