ICL: Indian Cricket League

Kallis hopes for batting turnaround


Jacques Kallis, the South Africa allrounder, is hopeful of regaining his touch with the bat and making a key contribution during the three-Test series in Australia. After an impressive 2007, when he scored 1210 runs at 86.42 in 17 innings, Kallis has struggled in 2008, managing 519 runs in 20 innings at 28.83 - and five of those innings were against Bangladesh.

“If I can turn my form around and play a big role in Australia, that’d be great,” Kallis said. “Now and again, you do have a tour where you don’t score runs, but there is not too much wrong.” The success of the other batsmen has added to the pressure on Kallis: he’s the only one in the top six for South Africa to average less than 50 this year.

South Africa are yet to win a series in Australia, but Kallis is upbeat over their chances on this tour. “We’ve obviously come here a few times wanting to do well, and there have been key moments where we haven’t played as well as we could have, and Australia has taken those key moments,” he said. “The guys would have learned from that. The way the side has played over the last two years, it’s probably as good as we’ve played since re-admission. We come here with a lot of confidence. If we play the cricket we know we can play, we’re definitely in with a shot.”

Kallis, who needs 199 runs to reach to 10,000 in Tests, has been working on his batting with Duncan Fletcher, who’s part of the support staff for the Australia tour. Kallis felt his poor run was not due to problems with his head position, a flaw that has been pointed out by others recently.

“It’s certainly not the head issues,” Kallis said. “[There’s] one or two little issues but that’s not it. [I’ve] worked with Duncan and hopefully got it right in the last couple of months and I’m looking forward to getting out and playing some good cricket again.”

Besides the 10,000-run mark, Kallis also needs five more wickets for 250 Test scalps: he is one of only four players to achieve the double of 5000 runs and 200 wickets in Tests. Former Australian players Keith Stackpole and Rodney Hogg recently said Kallis was selfish for going after individual goals, but the allrounder said he’s not too fussed about personal milestones. “That’s certainly something that I don’t concentrate on too much. But if it happens, it happens.

“If I can just go out and play the game like I’ve always played it and not worry too much about those type of goals, [I’ll hopefully] just produce the goods like I have over the last few years.”

Kallis also has the backing of team-mate Neil McKenzie, who has forged his place as an opener after a long international exile. “I think he’s been the backbone, carrying South Africa for so many years,” McKenzie said. “Before he went to England I think he had a couple of hundreds against the West Indies, [Kallis made 74 in one innings against West Indies and 132 in the second Test against India in Ahmedabad] so I think guys have got a few short memories.

“In terms of the tour that he’s just been on, yes he didn’t perform as he’d like in England but we don’t mind carrying him. He’s been carrying quite a few of the batters for a considerable number of years, so he can have a rest every now and then.”

Source:Cricket News

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 10th, 2008 and is filed under General, Cricket.

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