Jacques Kallis Is the Greatest Player of His Generation, and Here's Why
Jacques Kallis celebrated his 38th birthday on Wednesday by getting out for a duck. He has stuttered twice in the Test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi, having been dismissed for five in the first innings. But those blips on his radar are so rare that he should surely still rank as the greatest player of his generation.
That's a pretty big title to bestow on anyone, but it's his all-round ability, from batting to bowling and fielding in the slips, that sets him apart from the rest of his peers. It might have taken him nearly two decades to score his first double-century, but the man has been a machine in so many ways.
Let's start off by looking at the number of wins he has played a part in across all formats:
|One Day Internationals||321||206||100||-|
Winning nearly half the Tests he has played in is quite an achievement. He has scored 21 centuries in the matches where South Africa have won, at an average of 206.06. His overall average in wins is 62.57, and he has scored 6,257 in the 80 Test wins, along with the 21 centuries mentioned and 28 half-centuries.
|Jacques Kallis||13133 runs||288 wickets||163 Tests|
|Sir Garfield Sobers||8032 runs||235 wickets||93 Tests|
|Kapil Dev||5245 runs||434 wickets||131 Tests|
|Ian Botham||5200 runs||383 wickets||102 Tests|
His overall record as an all-rounder is equally impressive. HowSTAT rates him as the most successful all-rounder of all time. Here is a list of the top four, according to the ranking used by the website:
|Player||Total Runs||Total Hundreds||Average||Total 50s|
In terms of overall runs, his batting should not be underestimated. Kallis is also one of just four players to breach the 13,000-run mark in Test cricket. He also has the second-most hundreds in Tests.
Kallis has a mammoth average and has proven himself against all teams, in all conditions. He has one downfall, though. The only side against which Kallis averages less than 40.00 is Sri Lanka. His average against them is just 38.86 in 15 Tests. He averages less than 40.00 in three countries: Bangladesh, England and Sri Lanka. It's proof for everyone that he is just human after all.
The rest of his illustrious list of records remains incredibly impressive, though. He is one of just 29 players to score a hundred and take five wickets in the same match and one of just 22 players to score 250 runs and take 20 wickets in a series, per HowSTAT. Those are some pretty impressive figures.
The list of Kallis' numbers and go on and on, but what is truly remarkably about him is that he has managed to perform so consistently for such a long time. The fact that his body has managed to keep it up and allowed him to play at the top level until now is really incredible.
Kallis is the last left of the old guard. And while he has mentioned before that he hopes to add a World Cup win to his list of achievements, even if that doesn't happen, he will forever be remembered as quite possibly the best player South Africa ever had and the best of his generation.
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