South Africa's Jacques Kallis celebrates his century
against Australia during the first cricket test at the
Gabba in Brisbane. REUTERS/Aman Sharma
While Australia's 37-year-old batting great fell to his
third duck in three tests against South Africa, Jacques Kallis
keeps getting better for the Proteas.
Kallis once again confirmed his greatness with a commanding
147 at the Gabba on Sunday before former Australian skipper
Ricky Ponting lasted just five balls in reply.
Ponting's troubles against Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and
Morne Morkel have highlighted his late-career slide from
being the most feared batsman in the game to one fighting to
hang on to his position.
It was Morkel who this time dismissed him late on day three
at the Gabba, inducing an edge to Kallis at second slip, that
left Australia in dire straits at 3-40 in reply to the
Ponting's slide has been attributed to old age with his sharp
eye-sight dulling and even sharper reflexes slowing.
But, also at 37 and batting at second-drop, Kallis hasn't
suffered the same weariness of age.
His 349-minute first test knock, finished by a spectacular
catch at gully by Rob Quiney, was the highest by a South
African at the Gabba and showed he remains at the top of his
Kallis only sits behind Sachin Tendulkar, Ponting and Rahul
Dravid as test cricket's leading run-scorer and his excellent
average of 57.38 exceeds his peers, while his 44 test tons is
second to Tendulkar (51).
For a long time, the barrel-chested allrounder's reputation
has unfairly been left in the shade compared to Tendulkar,
Ponting and Brian Lara due to his methodical approach and
less destructive game.
But at the Gabba he raced to 84 on the opening day on a slow
and spongy pitch - rotating singles and punishing loose balls
in a pivotal third-wicket stand with Hashim Amla.
"I've been playing pretty well over the last couple of years
and scoring at a decent rate," Kallis said after day three's
"I feel like I'm getting into good positions which is the key
to batting and you need some luck to go with it, so may it
"I was happy with the way I played, it was tough this
(Sunday) morning, I felt Oz bowled really well, they got the
ball in good areas and with the wicket being under cover for
a day it was hard work this morning."
Also in a good sign for the tourists, Kallis, among the
game's best-ever allrounders with 280 test wickets at 32,
declared himself fit to bowl at the Australians after
starting the match with a niggle.