For over a decade I enjoyed watching Jacques Henry Kallis play for the Proteas; striking one cover drive after the other like only he could. I used to spend days in front of the television watching him bat, with the highest admiration for his technique and ability. Even when I couldn’t watch television, I followed his scores constantly on the internet. My moods tended to vary according to how he performed on a specific day, where I would be upset when he performed less satisfactorily. The majority of the time when he was dismissed I would walk away from the television or change the channel. However when he performed well I glowed like an overweight man entering an all you can eat buffet. Thankfully he provided an abundance of entertainment; with disappointments being few and far between – any fan’s dream.
Therefore, I dedicate this article to Jacques Kallis, the man who personified humbleness, never being fazed by any of his achievements; but rather being focused on his contribution towards the team. Although Kallis was not concerned with his personal statistics, I would like to share some of his major achievements throughout his test career. The purpose of these statistics are to verify Kallis as one, or in my opinion, the best cricketer to walk the face of the earth.
Let’s look at his test stats (with some comparisons against other players):
• Third most runs (13 378 runs).
• Second most hundreds (45).
• Joint second most scores of 50+ (103).
• Highest average amongst test batsmen with more than 11 000 runs (55.37)
• Scored more than 1 000 runs in a calendar year five times.
• Most runs in a 4-match test series for South Africa (712 runs vs. West Indies, 2003/04).
• Scored more than a 1 000 runs on four South African grounds.
• Most runs at Newlands, Cape Town (2 181). Third most by any batsman on a single ground.
• Most runs at Supersport Park, Pretoria (1 267).
• Most runs at Kingsmead, Durban (1 266).
• Most runs at Wanderers, Johannesburg (1 148).
• Scored a hundred in each innings of a match twice in his career – only South African to do so (2007, 2011); Tendulkar has not achieved this once in his career.
• Scored 5 and more hundreds in a calendar year three times in his career (2004 - 5, 2007 - 5, 2010 - 6); Tendulkar and Dravid only managed to achieve this twice in their careers.
• Joint record for the most hundreds in a calendar year for South Africa – 6 (2010; shared with Graeme Smith).
• Second most hundreds against West Indies by any batsman (8).
• Fifth most hundreds against India by any batsman (7).
• Scored five hundreds in consecutive matches in 2003/2004; only South African to achieve this. Only Bradman has scored more hundreds in consecutive matches (6).
• Scored four hundreds in consecutive matches in 2007; only South African to achieve this.
• Scored three hundreds in consecutive matches in 2010.
• Achieved scores of 50+ in 6 consecutive innings in 2003/2004; joint most as South African.
• Achieved scores of 50+ in 5 consecutive innings during 2002 and 2007 respectively.
• Achieved scores of 50+ in 9 consecutive matches during 2007.
• Achieved scores of 50+ in 7 consecutive matches during 2001 and 2002 respectively.
• Fastest 50 by any batsman (24 balls vs. Zimbabwe, 2004/2005).
• Second most sixes by a batsman (97).
• Fifth most fours by a batsman (1 488).
• Second most catches by a fielder (200).
• Scored a hundred in an innings and took a 5-wicket haul in an innings twice in his career (1999, 2002); making him only one of four players to achieve this.
• Most man of the match awards (23).
• Second most player of the series awards (9).
• Only top batsman to score a hundred each year since his first international hundred; Tendulkar, Bradman, Ponting, Dravid, Waugh, Lara etc. have not been able to achieve this.
• Has scored a hundred against all the test-playing nations.
• Scored the third most runs during 2004 (1 288).
• Scored the most runs during 2007 (1 210).
• Scored the sixth most runs during 2010 (1 198).
• Only player with a combination of 13 000+ runs, 250+ wickets and 200 catches.
• Second fastest batsman to 13 000 runs (269 innings).
Acknowledgement: The statistics were obtained from Cricinfo. Should errors occur in the article, it rests solely on the shoulders of the author.
Based on the aforementioned stats Kallis has certainly left behind a legacy no other cricketer have been able to leave behind. As a huge fan and South African, I thank Kallis for the joy, entertainment and happiness he has brought to South Africa and the cricketing world, as well as the example he said as a person and sportsman. Watching South African cricket will never be the same for me. He will not only leave a monumental gap in the team sheet, but also a gap in the hearts of the die-hard Kallis fans and the world of sport. Long live Kallis!