Kallis- An Unsung Legend

Jacques Henry Kallis has bid adieu to test cricket after 18 years of playing at the highest level. He will still continue playing ODI’s for South Africa till the 2015 world cup to be played in Australia and New Zealand.

Many of the cricket pundits argue that Kallis is the greatest all-rounder to have ever played this game and easily amongst the all-time greats.

Let us do some number crunching before coming to any conclusions.

Let us first see Kallis’s combined batting and bowling records in all forms of cricket

Format

Matches

Runs

Average

Centuries

Wickets

Bowl Average

MoM

MoS

Test

166

13289

55.75

45

292

32.53

23

9

ODI’s

325

11574

44.86

17

273

31.79

32

6

T20

25

666

35.05

0

12

27.75

2

0

Overall

516

25529

49.73

62

577

32.08

57

15

He is the only player in the history of the game to have scored more than 25,000 runs and taken more than 500 wickets. Add to that more than 250 catches surely places him on the top of all-rounders list to have played cricket.

Now let us have an apple to apple comparison of Kallis with some other great all-rounders of cricket.

All-rounders in Test cricket with minimum 2000 runs and 100 wickets. 

Player

Matches

Runs

Average

Wkts

Bowl Average

Avg Diff

Gary Sobers (WI)

93

8032

57.78

235

34.03

23.74

Jacques Kallis (SA)

166

13289

55.75

292

32.53

23.22

Imran Khan (Pak)

88

3807

37.69

362

22.81

14.88

Keith Miller (Aus)

55

2958

36.97

170

22.97

13.99

Shaun Pollock (SA)

108

3781

32.31

421

23.11

9.19

Trevor Goddard (SA)

41

2516

34.46

123

26.22

8.23

Tony Greig (Eng)

58

3599

40.43

141

32.2

8.23

Ian Botham (Eng)

102

5200

33.54

383

28.4

5.14

Richard Hadlee (NZ)

86

3124

27.16

431

22.29

4.86

Shakib Al Hasan (Ban)

32

2105

36.92

113

32.62

4.3

Chris Cairns (NZ)

62

3320

33.53

218

29.4

4.13

Wilfred Rhodes (Eng)

58

2325

30.19

127

26.96

3.22

Kapil Dev (Ind)

131

5248

31.05

434

29.64

1.4

Trevor Bailey (Eng)

61

2290

29.74

132

29.21

0.52

If we have a look at the players in the above list, Kallis is only second to the great Sir Gary Sobers if the comparison is based on the difference of batting and bowling averages of the all-rounders.

Note: Batting average should be as high as possible and the reverse should be for bowling average. So the average difference between both the averages should be as high as possible in order to make one a great all-rounder.

It is also said that a true test of a player is seen in overseas conditions. So let us have a look at some comparisons of all-rounders in overseas conditions.

All-rounders in Test cricket away from home (1000 runs, 100 wickets) 

Player

Matches

Runs

Average

Wkts

Bowl Avg

Avg Diff

Jacques Kallis (SA)

78

6254

53.91

127

35.3

18.6

Gary Sobers (WI)

49

3957

50.73

128

33.96

16.76

Shaun Pollock (SA)

49

1859

36.45

186

25.68

10.76

Imran Khan (Pak)

50

2267

33.83

199

25.76

8.07

Richard Hadlee (NZ)

43

1623

25.35

230

21.72

3.63

Ian Botham (Eng)

43

2231

31.87

157

29.63

2.24

Richie Benaud (Aus)

34

1123

24.95

144

24.35

0.6

In overseas conditions Kallis tops the list of all-rounders with a difference of batting and bowling average of 18.6

A player who performs well and helps his team win is considered great. Let us look at some statistics of some all-rounders depicting their performance in their team’s victories.

Top all-rounders in Test win (1000 runs and 50 wickets) 

Player

Mts

Runs

Avg

Wkts

Bowl Avg

Avg Diff

Gary Sobers (WI)

31

3097

77.42

104

24.04

53.37

Jacques Kallis (SA)

81

6264

62.01

182

24.31

37.7

Tony Greig (Eng)

17

1064

53.2

59

20.84

32.35

Sanath Jayasuriya (SL)

40

2801

48.29

54

24.38

23.9

Keith Miller (Aus)

31

1779

43.39

113

19.6

23.78

Ian Botham (Eng)

33

1951

43.35

172

20.09

23.25

Shaun Pollock (SA)

49

1427

32.43

223

18.3

14.13

Chaminda Vaas (SL)

43

1388

35.58

166

22.63

12.95

Daniel Vettori (NZ)

33

1340

34.35

127

21.92

12.43

Andrew Flintoff (Eng)

30

1572

39.3

92

29

10.3

In this list also Kallis stands at the 2nd position after Sir Gary Sobers with an average difference of 37.7

In the modern era many great all-rounders have played all forms of cricket. So below is a comparison of some of the greats with their combined record in all forms of the game. 

Player

Matches

Runs

Average

Wickets

Bowl Average

Avg Diff

Jacques Kallis

516

25529

49.73

577

32.08

17.65

Imran Khan

263

7516

35.45

544

24.08

11.36

Shane Watson

260

9484

37.93

266

29.39

8.54

Steve Waugh

493

18496

41.65

287

35.56

6.09

Lance Klusener

220

5482

37.8

272

32.29

5.51

Shaun Pollock

423

7386

28.73

829

23.73

5

Shakib Al Hasan

187

6321

33.62

307

29.54

4.07

Andrew Flintoff

227

7315

31.39

400

29.23

2.16

Ian Botham

218

7313

29.72

528

28.44

1.28

As we can see that Kallis tops the list if combined records of all forms of cricket is taken with the highest average difference of 17.65 over 516 international matches.

If we were to compare Kallis with the highest test run getters than there also we can see that Kallis has been a valued performer for his team. He is the 3rd highest test run getter and along with that also taken almost 300 wickets and 200 catches. 

Player

Matches

Runs

Average

Centuries

Wickets

Bowl Average

Sachin Tendulkar

200

15921

53.78

51

46

54.17

Ricky Ponting

168

13378

51.85

41

5

55.2

Jacques Kallis

166

13289

55.75

45

577

32.08

Rahul Dravid

164

13288

52.31

36

1

39

Brian Lara

131

11953

52.88

34

0

Chanderpaul

153

11219

51.93

29

9

98.11

Allan Border

156

11174

50.56

27

39

39.1

Steve Waugh

168

10927

51.06

32

92

37.44

Mahela Jayawardena

138

10806

49.56

31

6

49.5

Kumar Sangakara

117

10486

56.98

33

0

Sunil Gavaskar

125

10122

51.12

34

1

206

Recently the little master Sachin Tendulkar retired from international cricket after playing for 24 years and there were huge celebrations and hoopla around the event. Many cricket pundits labelled it as unnecessary and termed it as marketing gimmick. Now that Kallis has announced his retirement and we do not see any such fuss, their point seems more than correct.

But in favour of Sachin’s case we can say that he was a sub-continent (Indian) player whose fans are very emotional about the sport and consider it as a religion more than a spot. Also Sachin was worshipped like a God in India and hence such events had taken place. South African people are not that emotional and so they have decided to give Kallis a comparatively silent farewell.

Kallis has always been the unsung hero in cricket and we sometimes feel that he has not received the due credit he should have got. More often than not he got overshadowed by Sachin, Ponting, Dravid and Lara. But if we go by the numbers, he is by no means a less player and is definitely the greatest all-rounder to have played the game of cricket. He has been a great role model and ambassador for South African cricket and will always be remembered.

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One thought on “Kallis- An Unsung Legend

  1. Pingback: The Last Warhorse walks off | Enlightened Sid

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