One of the greatest all-rounders of all time, and certainly the best in the modern era, Jacques Kallis’s performances have etched his name on Cricket’s Hall of Fame. The South African legend is the only player to score more than 10,000 runs and pick up 250 wickets in both, Tests and ODIs. Kallis retired from all forms of cricket after a poor run of form in 2014. Kallis ended with 13289 runs and 292 wickets in 166 Test matches, while he added another 11,579 runs and 273 wickets in ODIs. Kallis scored 45 test centuries, only second to Sachin Tendulkar’s 51. We look at five lesser-known facts of the former South African great.
25534 international runs 💥— ICC (@ICC) October 16, 2019
577 international wickets 🔥
338 international catches 🙌
Happy birthday to Jacques Kallis, perhaps the greatest all-rounder in cricket's history 🎉 pic.twitter.com/61DK8zo0uh
Kallis took a break from cricket to be with his father Henry Kallis after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Kallis changed his One Day Internationals kit number to 65 after his father passed away at 65. Kallis’s sister Janine was a cheerleader for IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings (CSK). When Kallis playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) got dismissed vs CSK, Janine celebrated his wicket. Kallis took it sportingly and rather mentioned that he was impressed by the dance moves.
Kallis, one of the leading run-scorers of the game, did not have a great start to his South Africa career. In his first 7 Test innings, Kallis only managed to score a paltry 57 runs at an underwhelming average of 8.14. He only crossed double figures once. Kallis’ skills as a bowler, especially his 3/29 vs Australia in the Port of Elizabeth Test match kept him around the side until he took off and never looked back till the time he retired.
Kallis was South Africa’s highest run-scorer in the 2007 ODI World Cup. The southpaw amassed 485 runs but his slow scoring meant that South Africa lost momentum in key moments in the tournament. Subsequently, Kallis was omitted from the 2007 T20 World Cup squad, where South Africa was knocked out in the super eight. He resigned from the position of vice-captain after his ouster.
Known for classical batting style, Kallis did know how to cleanly hit a ball into the stands. A rock in the middle order, Kallis was never considered to be a six-hitter, but numbers suggest otherwise. Kallis hit 97 sixes in his Test career, the 4th highest by a batsman and the highest by a South African. Only Brendon McCullum, Adam Gilchrist, and Chris Gayle have hit more sixes than the all-rounder.
Kallis was never in for a chatter. The South African all-rounder always remained unfazed by whatever sledges the opposition threw at him. In one such instance, Australian fast bowler Micheal Kasprowicz tried to rattle the South African with his words but failed miserably. Despite his continued efforts, Kallis remained calm and kept his cool and had no reaction whatsoever, prompting Kasprowicz to think, if Kallis was deaf.