Kallis commitment a boost for Proteas
Jacques Kallis will no doubt go down in the history books as one of best to have played the game of cricket and perhaps South Africa’s most valuable cricketer ever.
His contributions over the many years on the field have been immense and he has been the constant in many successful South African sides.
As the time for him to finally leave the field of play draws nearer, it important that all the knowledge and experience that he has acquired is passed down to those that will be left to fill the humongous void that he will leave when he eventually calls it a day.
The fact that Kallis has committed to playing more one-day internationals in the lead up to the 2015 Cricket World Cup is very good news indeed.
In saying that, the expectation would have been nothing less as Kallis himself has been quoted as saying that he wants to plat at the 2015 World Cup.
Having achieved all that he has in the game, Kallis definitely is a confident man who backs his ability to deliver what he expects of himself and what the team requires.
While some may say that it is time to move on to younger players, Kallis is still willing and believes he is able to continue on.
The plus side for the Proteas is that they retain a magnificent senior player in their set-up who has a whole heap to share with the junior members of the team, whether it be in the long version of the game or the shorter formats.
The transference of knowledge to younger players is very important and happens most effectively when they receive the necessary advice while in the heat of battle.
A good example is the situation where Kallis and Faf du Plessis batted together in that famous test-match draw against Australia at the Adelaide Oval. It will have done Du Plessis a world of good.
Kallis’s return and commitment to playing more regularly in the one-day side certainly strengthens the Proteas ODI team. Moreover, he also brings that 'fear factor' to opposing teams.
Many a team will look at their opposition and pick out who the key player or prize wicket is.
Through most of his career, Kallis has been that key wicket and while his removal from the crease has brought joy to opponents it also has had a deflating effect on his own change room because he is such a big player.
He has been a measure of consistency over the years in all formats of the game and has seldom gone for too many matches without contributing with either or both bat and ball.
Sentiments, which might well be shared by many a Proteas fan and the great man himself, are that it would be sad to see him as a shadow of himself in the time that he has decided to carry on.
Kallis will be straining every sinew to prove to the detractors that he can still do the business and is still the main man.
If he succeeds, it will be superb for the team, but if he doesn’t then it is imperative that those young members of the team who are around him use this time to pick his brain and find out just how it is done at the top level.