Champions League T20
Kallis starts season in style
Jacques Kallis (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - The Royal Challengers Bangalore got their Airtel Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) campaign off to the best possible start on Sunday when they totally outclassed Guyana to win their match by nine wickets, with more than seven overs in hand.
One member of the team who was particularly happy with the outcome was local hero, Jacques Kallis, who took three wickets for 16 runs and made an unbeaten 47 runs, to claim the man of the match award.
Kallis, who, like most of the South Africans playing in the CLT20, has been off the field for more than two months, said it was a perfect start to the season for him.
“It’s amazing what a break can do,” he said. “We’ve had a break of about two months. I took a couple of weeks off and then it was back to the fitness training and it’s been nice to get fit and strong again.
“It was nice to start the season off well like that,” he added. “I struggled last week with a little bit of a back injury, so couldn’t do too much batting and bowling, but it worked out perfectly for me.
“It was good to get the ball in the right area again. Early on in the season you have to just go back to the basics, which is what I tried to do, and it worked for me.
“Also with the bat, to get a few balls in the middle of the bat – it was a great way to kick off a season, especially one with an important World Cup at the end of it. Hopefully that continues.”
Kallis, who was controversially left out of the South African team for the ICC T20 in 2007, said he had worked very hard on his T20 cricket.
“A few years ago, there was criticism, and they said I couldn’t play it. I wanted to prove to myself that I could, and I’ve worked very hard with Duncan Fletcher to get consistency as well as aggression. If you can get a combination of those two, then you can be very successful.
“I’ll carry on working at this format – I really enjoy it,” he said.
Regarding the Challengers’ campaign, Kallis said it had been an excellent start.
“We’ve had a really good preparation,” he said. “Ray (Jennings) has organized some really good practice facilities and net bowlers, so we had a week and a half of excellent preparation. We covered all the bases and we just needed to put in a good, solid performance on the field, which we did. We were good in all departments and when you fire like that, you’re in with a good chance.”
The Challengers will be in action again on Friday, when they take on the South Australian Redbacks at Kingsmead in Durban.