There aren't too many better cricketers in the world than Jacques Kallis. For Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL V, Kallis has been a bit slow at times, but is still second on the run charts for his team. And his contributions on the field have been invaluable as always. Kallis blames his team's lack of runs on the pitches on offer, but tells Wisden India that the important thing was to get the job done, and that's been achieved.
A big final lined up against Chennai Super Kings, Jacques - what do you think worked so well for Kolkata Knight Riders this time?
Almost everything, to be honest. Gautam [Gambhir] has been brilliant at the top of the batting order as well as captain, and the rest of us have also pitched in and done what was expected of us. Don't forget that we did have a great season in 2011. This year has mostly been about building on the good work from last season.
If you think about it, considering some of the pitches we have played on, we've played really good cricket. Some of the pitches were tough to bat on, and we showed quite a bit of fighting spirit. It hasn't always been pretty, but we have got the job done. That's all you can hope for under the circumstances.
Gambhir has really stood out among the batsmen, hasn't he? He is way ahead on the run-scorers' list for Kolkata and his strike rate is the best too...
True, he has led from the front, like I said. But the most pleasing part of the campaign for me is that everyone contributed when they got their turn. I don't think any one person has stood out more than the others. Everyone's put up their hand and put in big performances at various times in the tournament. Hopefully it won't be any different going forward.
But your own strike rate has been just a shade over 100 - don't you think you have been a little slow at times?
Not at all. It's got to do with the wickets we have played on. You'll find that the strike rates of most of our batsmen have been on the low side, and our bowlers' economy rates have also been good. Most of our matches have been low-scoring and that's reflected in the strike rates. I think we have had a nice season all around, and I am happy with the role I have played.
Slightly different batting position for you as well?
Yes, it is. I was pushed down to number three. It was a bit different and took a little getting used to. But I have enjoyed it and tried to fit in. I am pretty pleased on the whole with my efforts with the bat, as well as with the ball.
Yes, you've certainly been among the wickets, but the young spinner from Trinidad has topped everyone, hasn't he?
[Sunil] Narine has been a revelation for the side. Guys are finding it difficult to pick him and it does take a while to figure out what he is bowling. And in T20 cricket, you don't even have the time to think too much. He has been a fantastic wicket-taker and he has been economical as well. Narine's had a fantastic season for us and led our bowling attack brilliantly. It's been great fun watching an exciting young talent like him do so well.