Kallis ready for ‘full role’

2011-01-24 19:50
Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Cape Town – Jacques Kallis is on target, crucially for the Proteas, to exhibit his full range of all-round skills at the World Cup after missing the entire one-day international series against India.

That was the assurance to Sport24 on Monday from his long-time manager Dave Rundle, the former Western Province and South Africa off-spinner.

Commentator and former national captain Kepler Wessels may have sent a few ripples of anxiety down the spines of Proteas enthusiasts when, in a video interview on ESPN Cricinfo shortly after South Africa had sealed the ODI series 3-2 against India at Centurion on Sunday, he raised the fear that Kallis’s rib cartilage injury might limit his repertoire of contributions to the cause.

“It will be a bit of a problem if he can bat but not bowl, because it affects the balance of the team,” Wessels had said.

But he was probably only visualising a worst-case scenario - Rundle said Kallis “certainly hopes to play a full role” at the World Cup and that he ought to simultaneously be in a position to bat and bowl when given the green light to resume cricket training.

 Rundle said the injury had mostly precluded general fitness work, and that Kallis had been “relaxing” to aid recovery.

“I can’t help thinking the layoff has been a blessing in disguise (ahead of the World Cup) ... his record after coming back from a break is unbelievable.”

As much as the veteran’s famed unflappability will bring a key degree of sanity to a batting order that fired fairly inconsistently against India,
Kallis’s bowling role will be almost as valued on the Subcontinent.

For all the predictable hype around spinners ahead of the tournament, many matches will be played under lights when the dewy ball can be hard to grip for the team bowling second, making conditions sometimes suited to canny medium-pacers operating at crucial times.

Read more on:    jacques kallis  |  cricket world cup

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