No batsman prizes his wicket more highly, and no wicket in all of cricket is more highly prized.
Jacques Kallis is the broad-shouldered colossus of the South African team, a figure whose looming presence inspires calm in some and dread in others. Few players who belong to the modern age are a better fit for the notion of the classical cricketer.
Kallis is a fine, forceful batsman who has at his disposal both a rock-solid technique and a mind impervious to distraction. In the slips, his sure-handedness and rattlesnake reflexes make ridiculous catches look regulation. Kallis’ record shows he was the greatest all-rounder the world has seen, but maybe not as entertaining as some of his competitors.
Kallis announced himself as a batsman of international stature in his seventh Test, the drawn Boxing Day epic at Melbourne in 1997, when he scored a fighting 101 on a worn last-day pitch. Not even Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne could dislodge him before he had all but saved the match for South Africa.