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Jacques of all trades: Kallis personified all-rounded greatness

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Jacques Kallis' name may not come up first when talking about the all-time greats of cricket but rest assured, the South African all-rounder is definitely more than worthy of being mentioned alongside the mightiest names of the sport.

Having called it quits on his international career in 2015, Kallis was honoured with a place in the ICC Hall of Fame on Sunday, and on that note, we decided to run through some of the 44-year-old's career numbers and see what makes him so special.

Jacques of all trades

Although he took on the role of a specialist with the bat in the second part of his career, Kallis is one of the most accomplished all-rounders. Dubbed 'Mr. Dependable' for his masterful technique that confounded bowlers to no end, Kallis was well on course to catch Sir Garfield Sobers for the title of the greatest all-rounder but for his decision to later turn up the focus on his batting. Still, what he achieved in spite of that speaks volumes.

From 328 ODIs, Kallis extracted 11579 runs at an average of 44.36 while picking up 273 scalps. Those figures place him eighth in all-time career ODI runs scored.

In Tests, his record is even more impressive, standing third all-time when it comes to runs scored, with 13289, behind only Sachin Tendulkar (15921) and Ricky Ponting (13378) while picking up 292 wickets on the way. And when it comes to Test centuries, he is second only to Tendulkar's 51 tons with 45, at an average of 55.37 compared to Tendulkar's 53.78.

Kallis was equally sprightly on the field as well, with the third-most catches in Test matches (200), behind Rahul Dravid (210) and Mahela Jayawardene (205) and seventh on the ODI front, with 131.

A unique approach

A man of hefty build, Kallis' incredible strength was complemented by a cool head that helped him maintain his form with a high degree of consistency.

“I’ve always tried to listen to my body and pick up early warning signs. In the early days, I trained all day and bowled in the nets. I was in my mid-twenties when I realised I had to change,” the South African told Wisden.

While his T20 record is nothing to scoff at, it isn't nearly as impressive as his ODI and Test achievements. The surge in popularity of the format came at a time when Kallis was close to the sunset of his career, just like it did for his rival in the record books Sachin Tendulkar as well, but for what he achieved at the prime of his tenure, he should rightfully find a place in more halls of fame and more importantly, in the minds of cricket fans for whom the name of Jacques Kallis is not one of the first to pop in when discussing the all-time greats.

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Anesh Debiky

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