Pakistan in SA
Kallis nears Dravid, Ponting
Jacques Kallis (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - If master batsman Jacques Kallis
can muster 184 runs over the course of the next two Test matches against Pakistan, he will move above retired Indian legend Rahul Dravid and into third place for most runs in a Test career.
It is an even taller order, but should he amass 274 runs off his own blade at Newlands - the second Test starts there on Thursday - and/or a few days later at Centurion, he will also have leapfrogged Australia’s Ricky Ponting and be handsomely perched in second by the end of the South African summer.
That would leave only the still-active - but increasingly fading, it seems - Sachin Tendulkar still to haul in: that is a tough ask as the Indian maestro remains well over 2 000 runs clear of anybody at the top of the list (15 645 runs in 194 Tests at an average of 54.32).
Still, Tendulkar turns 40 in April, which still leaves the 37-year-old Kallis some breathing space if he manages to prolong his own career to a significant extent - he is looking considerably less fallible than Tendulkar in his own “twilight” phase thus far.
Hauling in Dravid and Ponting, however, seems just around the proverbial corner for Kallis, even if it doesn’t occur before the Proteas’ 2012/13 Test season comes to a close against the Pakistanis.
Currently standing on 13 105 runs (average 56.48, 161 Tests), Kallis is breathing right down the neck of Dravid (13 288 runs, average 52.31, 164 Tests), whilst Ponting (13 378, average 51.85, 168 Tests) is also under real threat from him.
Kallis has never needed much cajoling to perform well at Newlands: he has registered as many as nine of his 44 Test centuries at the ground in his home town, and averages a remarkable 77.07 there.
He also goes into the remaining two Tests against Pakistan just 12 wickets short of the personal landmark of 300 wickets.
The all-rounder, just for the record, will take to the Newlands turf in fresh foot-ware, as he tweeted on Tuesday: “New boots for Test match. Thanks @adidasZA. Hopefully lots of wickets and runs in them.”
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