Kaymo’s Korner: Kallis needs to up his game to match Tendulkar

2013-11-11 10:00

Our hero needs to make a few tough decisions

The Sachin Tendulkar farewell merry-go-round has begun and is being well marketed.

At the end of the day, the event will always be bigger than the game, because it is the end of Tendulkar’s glittering career.

It’s a pity he will not grace our shores because it would have been interesting to watch the little master pit his skills, waning or not, against the best pace attack around.

Which leads me to South Africa’s own idol, Jacques Kallis, who does not receive enough recognition.

Despite the accolades heaped on his run-scoring abilities, there’s always the feeling that Kallis hasn’t given his all for his country.

This will be debated long after he has retired, whenever that may be.

I rate Kallis highly and on plenty of occasions, formally and informally, have had to defend his contribution to the team.

What I can’t defend though, is his continued absence from the ODI team, especially in light of the continued batting failures.

I do remember him saying he would make a comeback, but it should be a matter of when, not if.

This is not an ultimatum, but surely Kallis should make a decision either to join in the race to the 2015 cricket World Cup or to focus solely on his test career.

It has got to the point where the Proteas can pick their best side game in and game out, but in the pyjamas it is a different story.

It must be difficult for players, knowing there’s an elephant in the room that could wake up and assume its place in the team and dressing room.

It is awfully difficult to build a team with that kind of uncertainty in the equation. But it does not help to explain the team’s batting failures.

Maybe it makes sense that the Proteas have only won two bilateral ODI series in his absence since the New Zealand series of 2012.

Maybe the team could be living in some sort of nirvana, where their batting saviour will come back and deliver them from their batting omissions.

If Kallis’ test form after such a long break can be used as an example, the team won’t be picking up manna from the ground.

If one takes a closer look now that India have shortened their ODI series, the Proteas only have six scheduled games between now and their next inbound tour, which will most probably be against the West Indies.

Australia are only here for three tests and three T20s, with the latter being preparation for the T20 World Cup to be held in Bangladesh in late March.

If Kallis doesn’t make himself available for the next matches, I don’t think he should be on the flight to Australia come 2015.

Is that fair enough? You tell me.

Let’s celebrate Tendulkar’s swan song, but if Kallis want a similar ODI sendoff, he needs to earn it.


»Follow me on Twitter @kaymorizm

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