Jaques Kallis – Wisdens No. 1?

Posted by batman on Apr 10th, 2008
Apr 10

Wisden names the South Africa’s Jacques Kallis as the No. 1 cricketer on earth for 2007. Jaque Kallis - South African premier batsman

Kallis becomes the fifth player to win the accolade of “Leading Cricketer in the World” since it began in 2004 to identify the first name on a World XI team-sheet to play Mars.

Previous winners include the Australians Ricky Ponting and Shane Warne, Andrew Flintoff of England and, last year, Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka.

Credit: Wisden

Firstly, let me congratulate Jaques Kallis on his achievement – it is indeed something special to be considered the worlds No. 1 cricketer.

However, that been said – am i the only one that feels that somehow he isn’t living up to his true potential? He has the ability, far more so than any other in his team, to demolish any attack. But how often does he in fact do that? He so often seems to be playing a supporting role to the batsman at the other end – one would assume that Kallis – “the best in the world” – would more often than not be the player that others would support…

How often have we seen him – when we are in a strong position of 550/3 – looking to declare, yet Kallis will still bat at 2 runs to the over, preferring his junior partner to take the risks. Its as if his “not out” is more important than the teams so-called strategy of “brave cricket”.

Little wonder then that he was excluded from the Pro20 World Cup – that’s just not his game. He likes his 15 overs to get his eye in, and there are only 20 overs. In this game one needs to be firing from both sides – Kallis keeping an end up while expecting his batting partner to do the work just doesn’t strike me as the ideal gameplan for Pro20.

When Lara, Ponting, Tendulkar or Sehwag walk to the crease, then I sit glued to the TV – not wanting to miss a thing. However, when Kallis walks to the crease I find an excuse to work in the garden – secure in the knowledge that he will probably still be there when I return, but there’s just no way I want to watch him play.

And somehow that – to me – defines the essence of greatness!.

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