Panelists Decide On Sobers; Is Kallis Guaranteed The Second Position In The Ultimate XI?

By May 18, 2020
Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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    In 1993 the West Indies went into the fifth and final Test of a series against Australia at Perth tied at 1-1 and a number of brilliant performances made the game a one-sided affair, giving the visitors a not-so-close 2-1 victory.

  • The stats should always matter - let's give Kallis his due The stats should always matter - let's give Kallis his due

    A quick look at the stats of legendary South African all-rounder suggests that he should not just routinely be part of conversations that speak about the best all-rounder of all-time but perhaps the best of all-time.

    Instead, it seems the South African has been found short of ground in another routine legend ranking discussion, finishing behind the incomparable Garfield Sobers and it seems struggling to finish ahead of Imran Khan, in the latest Ultimate XI Test cricket all-rounder choice.

    Let’s get this straight, if Kallis is to come up short it will certainly never be on the weight of his statistics.

    The batsman’s Test record compares favourably with almost any other batsman of modern times.  In terms of run scored, his total of 13,289 is third on the all-time list, bettered by only Ricky Ponting (13,378) and Sachin Tendulkar (15,921). 

    In fact, Kallis has scored some 1,336 more runs than Brian Lara, a man who is generally considered as one of the four best batsmen of all time, and in some instances, the best. In terms of averages, he has a higher average than Lara, Tendulkar, Dravid, and Ponting. Compared to batsmen who have made debuts in the past 30 years, only Kumar Sangakkara, Steve Smith, and Adam Voges (who only played 20 Tests) can top Kallis’ career average of 55.37.

    His 45 Test centuries is second on the all-time list behind Tendulkar’s 51 and four ahead of Ponting and lest we forget he was just short of 300 Test wickets with 292 at 32.65.

    But, despite constantly etching his name above the greats some have found it easy to dismiss Kallis's case because he lacked one factor many of his contemporaries possess. He was unspectacular.

    The South African simply got the job done with very little fanfare. Best summed up in his own words; “I think it was my personality. I never really enjoyed the limelight, I liked going about my business and just getting on with the job. I never played the game for accolades or anything like that.”

    For some, that has been enough to relegate one of the greatest players of a generation to a mere consideration, or well below what his achievements merit in the debate on greatness, but it shouldn’t be.

  • "I just can't have Kallis in there" says commentator, who believes the South African was simply not memorable "I just can't have Kallis in there" says commentator, who believes the South African was simply not memorable

    Cricket commentator David Brooks believes South Africa’s Jacques Kallis does not merit a place on the Sportsmax Zone’s Ultimate Test XI. This, despite the fact that the now-retired South African has scored a mammoth 45 Test centuries and more than 13,000 Test runs in what has been an outstanding career.

    According to Brook, who provides cricket commentary on the Guerilla Cricket online portal, Kallis is simply not memorable.

    “It’s not just the statistics. We’re thinking about the manner in which players score their runs, and for that reason, I just can’t have Jacques Kallis in there,” Brook said in explaining his reason for eliminating Kallis from the selection pool.

    “We talk about players that empty bars, he wasn’t one of them. I can’t remember a single innings. I know that stats are there. I can’t put him in, I’m sorry.”

    His comments drew laughter from the panel that included businessman and former Jamaica footballer Chris Dehring and regional cricket umpire Chris Taylor as well as hosts Whittaker and Mariah Ramharack.

    Host Lance Whittaker was taken aback by Brooks’ reasoning. “Forty-five Test hundreds!” he remarked incredulously.

    However, Brook remained resolute.

    “Can’t remember a single one of them,” was his retort. “I may have seen a few of them, I just can’t recall them, and certainly not enjoyable or memorable in any way,” he said while making the case for Pakistan’s Javed Miandad.

    “Whereas Javed Miandad, I can recall, playing shots all round the wicket, a genuine entertainer.”

    (See Brook’s fill comments below)

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