Twenty20

Kallis holds the key

2009-06-01 22:45
Jacques Kallis (Gallo)
Altus Momberg

Nottingham – Six months ago, few people would have believed that Jacques Kallis could be a key player in the Proteas’ mission to win the Twenty20 world crown.

The South African batting star had been struggling with his form in Test cricket over the past 12 months, not to mention the shorter versions of the game.

But Kallis’s performance in the recent Indian Premier League (IPL) in South Africa is an encouraging factor for the all-rounder ahead of the World Twenty20.

Kallis hit 361 runs for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL series and helped his team to finish second.

The Proteas begin their T20 World Tournament campaign on Sunday against Scotland at the Oval in London.

Proteas’ captain Graeme Smith said, Kallis is definitely one player who has something to prove.
 
"Jacques had a good IPL series and it is extremely important that we apply him tactically the right way. He is a versatile player and should make a contribution in all three facets of the game."

Kallis answered most questions about his suitability for this version of the game during the IPL, therefore, it will be interesting to see where in the batting order, he will be used.

In 2007 he was unable to make the Proteas team for the previous T20 tournament (in South Africa).

After he was cut from the team, the former president of Cricket South Africa, Norman Arendse, even said Kallis was not a good one-day cricket player.

Is no secret that South African coach Mickey Arthur had to fight hard to get Kallis included for the T20 group playing in this month’s tournament.

Kallis’s batting expertise in the IPL and his ability to swing the ball as bowler apparently worked in his favour.

There will also be a great deal of scrutiny on Smith’s performance in the Proteas’ three warm-up matches after his poor run in the IPL.

He is, however, one of the best batsman in T20 cricket and the success of the Proteas will greatly depend on their captain’s playing ability.

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