Survey: loss of Kallis worst for Proteas

2013-08-01 00:00

CAPE TOWN — According to Sport24 readers, the absence of Jacques Kallis from the Proteas squad is the biggest reason for their poor run of form of late.

Kallis made himself unavailable for last month’s ICC Champions Trophy in England and Wales, before skipping South Africa’s current tour of Sri Lanka.

The all-rounder has not played one-day cricket for more than a year, but had been expected to rejoin the team.

The 37-year-old had asked not to be considered for personal reasons, and also with a view to extending his international career to include one last tilt at winning a Cricket World Cup in 2015, by taking a break and staying free of niggles.

Some saw Kallis as the last of the players associated with the bitter disappointments at the last four World Cups in which South Africa have contrived to throw away advantageous situations and crash out of the tournament, sometimes in farcical circumstances.

However, his absence has only served to make the team appear more brittle.

Former Australia cricket captain Steve Waugh even recently went as far as to rate South African all-rounder Kallis as the greatest cricketer of all time.

Kallis will end his international hiatus in South Africa’s Test series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in October.

Readers felt that Kallis’s absence was a bigger factor in the Proteas’ poor form than the injury-enforced absence of former captain Graeme Smith, who suffered a stress fracture to his ankle; the loss of Dale Steyn due to a hip-muscle strain; the absence of Test stalwart Vernon Philander; or the lack of seasoned spinner Imran Tahir from the team.

In Sport24’s online poll, over half the respondents said Kallis was the player missed most.

We asked:

‘Which South African player is being missed most on the Proteas’ tour of Sri Lanka?’

These were the results:

52% — Jacques Kallis

31% — Dale Steyn

8% — Graeme Smith

5% — Vernon Philander

4% — Imran Tahir

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