An all-rounder that is very much worthy of a "GOAT", Jacques Kallis had a glorious career in cricket. Lethal and reliable with the bat, calm and composed with the ball, Kallis was always the difference-maker.
Till today, Kallis is the only player to have scored over 10,000 and pick over 250 wickets in Tests and ODIs. But do you have any idea how things began for the Proteas legend?
Jacques Kallis, 46 today, was a titan in Tests 🔥 pic.twitter.com/Gdz38AAiTN— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) October 16, 2021
Kallis played for his high school and he was only 19 when he started playing at Parkside Road. Some brilliant performances led to the coaching staff idealizing the potential within him of becoming a prolific all-rounder.
1993 saw Kallis being selected to play for the U-17s against the Scotland U-19 team. He made his first-class debut in 1993, playing for Western Province B. His first Test appearance came at Durban in 1995 against England.
After some struggles while batting, Kallis also made it to the 1996 Cricket World. However, he didn't get a real chance to prove himself. However, 1997 was a great year for him as he performed against Pakistan and also scored a ton against Australia at the MCG.
1998-2002 was a golden period for Jacques Kallis as he emerged as one of the world's leading all-rounders, something that reflected in the ICC's cricket ratings.
In 1998, South Africa won the ICC Champions Trophy title, courtesy of Kallis who managed to win two "Man of the Match" and the "Player of the Series" performances.
Best professional cricketer never to win a major trophy? 🤔— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) May 7, 2021
He was solid and mainly consistent. In 1999 after the ICC Cricket World Cup, he gave a "Player of the Series" display to lead South Africa to a stunning Test series victory against India in India in 2000.
By late 2001 he was the world's number one ranked Test all-rounder, having held the same ranking in ODIs for the best part of 3 years. Wonderful, isn't it?
In 2006, due to an injury to Graeme Smith, Kallis was handed the captaincy for the third Test against Australia. Kallis was also South Africa's leading run-scorer in the 2007 Cricket World Cup, scoring 485 runs (80.83 average).
However, his scoring pace was questioned and that became the reason he was dropped from the T20 World Cup squad. Kallis scored some brilliant tons, and even double centuries before he retired from all forms of cricket in 2014.
Kallis did go on to achieve some great records and numbers. Let's have a look.
Numbers are proof that Kallis was an all-rounder in all senses and he picked 131 catches in ODIs and 200 in Tests.
# Second-highest Test tons (45), Sachin Tendulkar (51).
# Player of the Tournament 1998 ICC Knockout Trophy (Now ICC Champions Trophy)
# ICC Test Player of the Year (2005) and ICC Player of the Year (2005)
# Wisden's Leading Cricketer in the World (2008)
# One of the rare all-rounders to have a batting average of 50+ in Tests
# First South African to score 13,000 Test runs.
# Wisden Cricketer of the Year (2013)
# ICC Cricket Hall of Fame Inductee
# One of the four players to score five consecutive Test tons (Don Bradman, Gautam Gambhir, Mohammad Yusuf). The right-hander is just the fourth man after Bradman, Ken Barrington, and Matthew Hayden to score four centuries in four Tests on two different occasions.
# Fastest 50 in Tests by a South African (24 balls) (2005)
# The first bowler to take a fifer in ICC Champions Trophy history. The former all-rounder is also the only bowler to take a 5 wicket haul in the finals of the ICC Champions Trophy(in the 1998 ICC KnockOut Trophy tournament)
# Most man of the matches in Test Cricket (23).
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Cover Credits: CricketNation