Jacques Kallis beats Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting to a perfect farewell
Jacques Kallis brought up 45th Test century and his 115 helped him become the third-highest Test scorer, ahead of Rahul Dravid by 1 run.
- Updated: December 29, 2013 03:50 PM IST
South African legend Jacques Kallis outsmarted two other champions of the game -- Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting -- by scoring a ton in his final Test against India at Durban. He scored 115, eventually becoming Ravindra Jadeja's fifth victim in the innings but his efforts helped him become the third-highest Test scorer (13,289 runs) - finishing one run ahead of Rahul Dravid.
Walking in at the fall of Hashim Amla's wicket, he was welcomed with a guard of honour from the Indian side, led by skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. What followed was a typical Kallis knock, making most fans wonder if he really needed to retire at the moment. Kallis unleashed a few crunching cover drives coupled with powerful back foot strokes, showing that there was still a lot of fire left in his belly, despite turning 38 just a couple of months ago. It is true that he struggled with bat for the entire year, but his sublime touch in this innings paints a different picture. (In pics: King Kallis' classy century)
Kallis was unbeaten on 78 with Dale Steyn for company when run cut short play on Day 3. In the first session on Day 4, he reached his 45th ton in Test cricket, flicking Ravindra Jadeja towards deep mid-wicket. It is also his seventh century against India.
Following the home series against South Africa in late 2012, former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting called time on his career after suffering poor run of form with the bat for a long period. He scored just 32 runs in his last five innings.
India's Tendulkar also had to face a lot of criticism before eventually bowing out following his 200th Test. He retired from limited-overs cricket towards the end of 2012, and looked keen on extending his time in white kits. However, poor form against England at home did not strengthen his cause and put excessive pressure on him. Hence, a two-match Test series against the West Indies at home was tailor-made for the batting maestro. Although he quit the international stage after a fluent 74 in his final innings at the Wankhede stadium amid a lot of fanfare and emotions, the fact that it came against a lowly-ranked West Indies in favourable conditions took a bit of shine away from his otherwise sparkling career.
South Africa's Jacques Kallis on the other hand, has truly outperformed two of his contemporaries by scoring a ton on a Durban wicket against an Indian side that is currently ranked second in the world. (Related: Kallis is the greatest all-rounder of modern era: Pollock)
While talking about the greatest batsmen of the modern-day game, Kallis perhaps, is not given enough credit for his workman-like efforts. However, the big South African veteran prepares to walk away from the game with what can be deemed as the mother of all farewells.