Kallis gets helter-skelter formula right

Updated: 26 April 2010 14:35 IST

When Jacques Kallis was left out of South Africa's squad for the inaugural WT20 it seemed unlikely he would emerge as a key player in the 2010 version.

Kallis gets helter-skelter formula right

Johannesburg:

When Jacques Kallis was left out of South Africa's squad for the inaugural World Twenty20 three years ago it seemed unlikely he would emerge as a key player for his country in the 2010 version of the tournament.

Although acknowledged as one of the world's leading all-rounders in both Tests and one-day internationals, the perceived wisdom was that Kallis was too cautious a batsman to shine in the helter-skelter version of the game.

But Kallis, 34, has shown an ability to adapt that has made him an automatic choice for his country's T20 team. He has also become a more aggressive batsman in Tests and one-day cricket.

Although he bats at number four in Tests, he has found a niche as an opening batsman for his country and for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League.

His primary role is to be a solid anchor while other batsmen play flamboyant strokes, but he can play big shots, too, as he showed when he made 89 not out off 55 balls in helping Bangalore chase down a target of 204 in an IPL match against the Kings XI Punjab.

Kallis also brings value to the team through his medium-fast bowling and safe fielding.

The exclusion of Kallis from the 2007 event caused a huge controversy, leading to the player resigning as South African vice-captain and his close friend, wicketkeeper Mark Boucher, being fined 60 percent of his match fees for the tournament after criticising the selectors' decision.

Kallis, meanwhile, approached former England coach Duncan Fletcher, who had been in charge of the Western Province team when Kallis first played senior provincial cricket in the mid-1990s.

"I have been working on it with Duncan Fletcher for a year or two now because I wanted success in the T20 format," Kallis wrote on his website.

"There have been one or two technical adjustments I have made, but the key thing has been the mental adjustment. T20 is a format in which the risks and rewards are much higher and I have managed to make more space in my head to hit the ball."

More recently, Kallis said: "Two years ago, there was a lot of criticism from people who said that I couldn't play it (Twenty20). I've worked at it. It's something I pride myself on.

"Technically, you don't need to change much. In Test cricket, you get a bit more behind the ball. In Twenty20, you need to give yourself a bit more room to hit."

Kallis showed his credentials as an opening batsman in the 2009 World T20 in England when he was South Africa's leading run-scorer as his team reached the semi-finals. He also assisted his South African franchise, the Port Elizabeth-based Warriors, win the domestic Twenty20 competition.

The rifts over his 2007 omission are long healed and he is once again the team's vice-captain as he makes yet another attempt to earn a winner's medal in a global event.



Topics : Cricket Jacques Kallis
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