Can Kallis bat in England?

2012-06-29 14:57
Jacques Kallis (Gallo Images)

Paul Adams interview

2012-06-27 09:57

Former Protea Paul Adams has been announced as coach of the Cape Cobras.

If the Proteas intend to defeat England in England a lot will rest on the shoulders of Jacques Kallis. But, and this is a massive but: can Kallis score in England. Footage in this compilation will suggest he cannot. Statistics tells a similar dismal story.

Kallis played 28 tests against England, he averages 44.58 and his runs include 7 centuries and 8 fifties. In South Africa he played England in 16 games, averaged 53.87 and his 1293 runs include 6 tons and 5 fifties. In 12 games in England he scored 1 380 runs with 1 hundred and 3 fifties at an average of 27.51.

In 1998 when Kallis was still establishing himself in the Protea middle order he played 5 games, scoring 194 runs at an average of 42 with 1 hundred and 1 fifty. In 2003 he played in all three tests and scored 188 runs at an average of 31.33 with only 1 fifty. In 2008 Kallis played in all 4 test and scored only 104 runs at an average of 14.85 with 1 fifty.

A matter that went unnoticed at the time was that Kallis played his first IPL series shortly before the England tour of 2008. His batting suffered hugely as a result and it was clear that he couldn’t adjust from the innovative shot making of T20 to the conservative approach to test cricket. In the IPL he did not use his feet and played away from his body in the direction of third man. With no slips in place in India it worked. With a packed cordon in England it cost him dearly. After the tour Kallis made the necessary adjustments although it took some time. With all the T20 games since Kallis became more aggressive in test cricket also, but he has mastered the transformation from T20 to ODI to tests. 

Back to the compilation (Let’s look at the dismissals in the order they are shown on YOU TUBE – I will score the balls out of 10 to indicate whether Kallis was simply bad or how well the English bowled to him):

Ryan Sidebottom bowls Kallis with an in-swinging yorker: 9.
Darren Gough bowls an out-swinger on off-stump – Kallis nicks: 8.
Dominic Cork bowls an out-swinger on off-stump - Kallis nicks: 8.
James Anderson bowls a brilliant in-swinger – Kallis leave and is bowled: 9.
James Anderson bowls another brilliant in-swinger – Kallis play on off-stump: 9.
James Anderson bowls outside off – With a horizontal bat Kallis drags the ball onto the wickets – 7.
James Anderson bowls an in-swinger outside off and hit Kallis outside line while playing a shot (should be not out): 8.
Steve Harmison bowls an in-swinger and hits Kallis, who offers a shot, outside the line (should be not out): 7.
Angus Fraser bowls an in-swinger outside off and hit Kallis en route to leg stump (unlucky to be given out): 7.
Dominic Cork bowls outside off - Kallis pulls brutally to on-side and Mark Ramprakash takes one of the best: 5.
Andrew Flintoff bowls the ball just outside off - Kallis plays an inside edge on the stumps: 7.
Dominic Cork bowls outside off - Kallis play and miss - umpire decides there was an edge: 8.
James Kirtley bowls outside off – Kallis nicks: 7.
Martin Bicknell bowls full outside off - Kallis drives bizarrely with the score on 16/2 – Vaughan at close extra-cover take good catch: 4.
Dominic Cork bowls a brilliant in-swinger just outside off: 9.
Andrew Flintoff bowls a dipping beamer and hit Kallis who lost the ball in the flight high on the back leg – LBW to an unsporting ball that would have hit the stumps three quarters up - Kallis fuming: 10 for execution and 0 for sportsmanship.
Steve Harmison bowls an out-swinger just outside off and Kallis nicks: 7.
Steve Harmison bowls an out-swinger just outside off and Kallis nicks: 7.   

The English bowled extremely well to Kallis in the past but he also felt victim to a few shabby umpire decisions. Kallis is very tentative against the quick swinging ball and doesn’t play forward as he should. The reason is probably his vulnerability to short balls and the fact that he took one or two blows to many in the past. On quick wickets he is often uncertain whether to play forward or back and as a result he often gets stuck in the crease. 

So then, the question: Can Kallis succeed this time in England?

Yes, like one of his fans said: “he is mentally stronger than ever, has a rock solid defence, gargantuan stamina and concentration powers of a Buddhist priest.” Add to that his pride and the fact that this might be his last series in England. 

In the three series he played in England he was mostly dismissed by Cork (4), Anderson (4), Harmison (3), and Freddie (2). Only Anderson is still playing and the recent series against the Windies showed that he lost pace. He still swings the ball, but not at the pace he did in 2008.

Stuart Broad might trouble Kallis but he is certainly not in the same league as Flintoff, Harmison, Cork or Gough.

Chris Tremlett is quick, accurate and bouncy but that won’t bother Kallis. Tremlett is fragile and with his long history of injuries he is always a doubtful starter. 

Tim Bresnan, Graham Onions and Steven Finn are all hugely overrated and it is unlikely that they will bother Kallis.

As a great player of spin and given the spinner unfriendly England pitches, Graeme Swann will not trouble Kallis either.

The best time to get Kallis out is if he bats within 40 overs. If Alviro Petersen, Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla wear Broad and Anderson down Kallis will be fine against a ball without any shine or swing.

Kallis’ success in England could also be determined by the way he deals with quick bouncers and Broad might trouble him. In the past Kallis had been badly struck and subsequently he decided to treat aggression with fire. Kallis is not a natural hooker of the cricket ball and England will always be in with a chance if he takes them on.

Early on Kallis should play forward as much as possible to take LBW’s out of the equation; but if he does he will be in for a barrage of short balls.

The best solution lies with Kallis’ batting partner: If he protects Kallis and face say 30 balls of the first 6 overs Kallis spends at the wicket he will allow the master batsman to adjust to the playing conditions.

Kallis is a good batter all over the globe. He played 68 games abroad and scored 5318 runs including 18 hundreds and 22 fifties at an average of 53.18.

In Australia he averaged 46 against the best quick bowlers of all times.

Since the dreaded tour in England Kallis scored 12 hundreds in 3 years; including two double centuries.

One last thing: Kallis loves his bowling and if he gets wickets he will gather momentum for when he bats. In the three series Kallis played in England he took 35 wickets. In 1998 he took 11, in 2003 14 and in 2008 10.    

Read more on:    mysport24

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