On tamer pitches, Kallis would have been even more dominant

2013-12-31 00:00

JACQUES Kallis could very well have ended his career with more runs and a higher average if he had batted on “tamer” pitches.

Kallis yesterday ended his Test career of 18 years against India in Durban with 13 289 runs — the third most in history — and an average of 55,37.

The former Protea captain Shaun Pollock said it was not always so easy to bat on South African pitches compared to other pitches in the world arena. “Jacques however made it look easy and still recorded big runs”, adding he was sure Jacques would have had an even better record if he had batted on tamer pitches. Pollock added the flip side of tamer pitches could of course also also have given Kallis fewer wickets. Pollock recalled that Kallis had not adapted immediately to Test cricket, but the selectors stuck with him. “One can now see the fruits that approach delivered.

“I can remember he had a good talk with Bob Woolmer, during which Bob told him he must take his standards to the next level and lift his averages.”

Pollock said Kallis then proceeded to quietly set the standard that batsmen are still striving to meet, doing his job under the radar, compared to a flamboyant Brian Lara. “He will be missed for sure. To replace a cricketer like him would require two players. He will be remembered in the modern era as the most versatile player, if not one of the best cricket players, especially here.

“He was definitely — in my experience — the biggest among the versatile players in my generation.”

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