this is it, jakes
this may be the last time jacquess kallis tours australia. in test cricket there are no world cups in which you can prove yourself and gain acclaim. in test cricket you prove yourself by your performances against the best teams in the world and for a good decade and a half australia has been the team that has stood head and shoulders above the rest. good performances against india, england and south africa are noticed – but its how you play against australia that makes people sit up.
he has performed quite well against them in the past – his maiden test century was against them at the mcg (when warne and mcgrath were in their pomp) and in the 2006 sydney test he scored a century and a fifty in one match. but even though he has performed very well in individual tests he has never really shone in a series.
kallis also needs a good series more than ever as for the first time since the beginning of his career (a decade ago) he is in very bad form. its rather baffling. most years he averages anywhere between the high 40s and the 80s and this year his average is a lowly 28. whats even more unfortunate is that this bad spell has come right after the best year he’s had in his career, at the end of which wisden names him the leading cricketer in the world.
a lot of people have pointed to his age as being a factor, but i don’t think thats the issue. kallis is 33 and most batsmen play till they’re about 35 or 36 – some even a little beyond that. also, kallis has himself stated how hungry he is to play on, so i don’t see him retiring anytime soon.
age could, however, be a factor when south africa next faces australia, which will probably be in 2011/2012, by which time kallis will be 36/37. that is why i want him to have a big series against them now.
kallis is on the brink of greatness. statistically he is virtually there – he is 199 runs away from the golden 10 000 run mark and will certainly pass it before long and score even more. but as focused as cricket is on statistics, what brings greatness is memorable performances.
this is your time, jakes. do it!