Cape Town – The Cape Cobras have had no indication that
veteran all-rounder Jacques Kallis, who made an unusually subdued contribution
to the shared Test series against Pakistan, is seeking any domestic cricket in
the next couple of weeks.
“I haven’t had contact with Jacques so it can be assumed he
is not in the mix; we are proceeding with plans for our trip to Johannesburg
without him,” coach Paul Adams told Sport24 on Monday.
The Cobras next tackle the Lions at the Wanderers in the
ongoing Momentum One-Day Cup competition on Wednesday, although Adams did
confirm that they would be infused by the presence of seamer and hard-hitting
tail-end batsman Rory Kleinveldt.
Kleinveldt did not play in either of the Test matches in the
United Arab Emirates, and is not part of the Proteas’ squad for the five-match
one-day international series against the Pakistanis, starting in Sharjah on
Wednesday (13:00 SA time), so he ought to be itching for local combat.
At least for the time being, though, the same does not apply
to Kallis, who had already tweeted about a week ago that he would be at his
long-time friend Mark Boucher’s tribute dinner at the Sandton Sun on Wednesday,
clashing with the Cobras’ Highveld assignment.
“They (the national side) manage Jacques very carefully
these days and they’ve just been under the hot desert sun so I guess he is to
be rested for a bit,” Adams said diplomatically.
Kallis probably knows better than anyone, in fairness, how
to spread his personal cricketing load these days; at almost 38 his
overwhelming priority is the five-day format, and from a conditioning point of
view he still seems in fine nick.
But many ageing cricketers can also require more time to
banish off-season cobwebs than before, and there is probably a case for
suspecting he could do with game-time, especially as the franchise arena seems
a perfect, slightly less stressful place for him to regain his optimum touch.
Kallis contributed only 12 runs in three knocks to the
recent Test series and bowled 20 overs across the two matches at a cost of 53
runs and no success in the wickets column.
Perhaps he will be tempted to rejoin the Cobras’ set-up
towards the tail-end of the round-robin phase of the current limited-overs
competition – they have further games against the Knights (Newlands, Friday),
Warriors (Paarl, November 6) and Dolphins (Durban, November 8) before the
possible semis and November 15 final.
The Sunfoil Series four-day competition finally gets
underway on November 21, when the Cobras open their account against the
Dolphins in Maritzburg.
Meanwhile, back in the Emirates the Proteas are preparing –
after their rousing but controversy-marked comeback to level the Test series –
for an important “mid-table” ODI scrap with Pakistan.
South Africa are ranked fifth in the format and Pakistan
sixth, so signs or progress are important for both adversaries here.
The Proteas are initially without two key figures in Hashim
Amla (still awaiting the birth of his child back home) and Dale Steyn (to rest
from the first two clashes), but there will be great interest in how Vernon
Philander shapes now that he is back in the 50-overs plans.
They will also be banking on decent performances from some
in-form “fresh legs” who have just arrived from South Africa – David Miller and
Wayne Parnell quickly spring to mind.
There is an intriguing dilemma all over again about the
spinning roles, because Imran Tahir and Robin Peterson may once again be
jockeying for just one berth if the Proteas decide that batsman JP Duminy is sufficiently
competent to serve as the second presence in that department.
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