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Jacques Kallis: A career in numbers

Tuesday, 31 December 2013 - 1:46pm IST | Agency: CricketCountry.com

Jacques Kallis, one of the greatest cricketers of all time, has decided to hang up his boots. Abhishek Mukherjee looks at an illustrious career in terms of numbers.

 

The curtains have been drawn. The spectators, on field and on television, waited for Jacques Kallis to walk out for this one final time, but he wouldn’t, being perfectly happy with the top-order batsmen to do the job for his side. A career – perhaps the greatest ever – came to an end.

 

How great an all-rounder was Kallis? How did he fare when pitted against the other greats across the eras – Garry Sobers in specific?

 

 

The all-rounder

 

Let us first put a basic cut-off of 2,000 runs and 100 wickets. In 136 years of Test cricket, only 25 cricketers meet the mark, which tells us a thing or two about how special the achievement is. If we do a basic product of runs and wickets, Kallis is so far ahead of the others that a comparison almost seems futile.

 

Top all-rounders: Product of runs and wickets

 

Player M R Bat Ave W Bowl Ave C R x W
Jacques Kallis

166

13,289

55.37

292

32.65

200

388.0388

Kapil Dev

131

5,248

31.05

434

29.65

64

227.7632

Shane Warne

145

3,154

17.33

708

25.42

125

223.3032

Ian Botham

102

5,200

33.55

383

28.40

120

199.1600

Garry Sobers

93

8,032

57.78

235

34.04

109

188.7520

Daniel Vettori

112

4,516

30.11

360

34.42

57

162.5760

Shaun Pollock

108

3,781

32.32

421

23.12

72

159.1801

Anil Kumble

132

2,506

17.77

619

29.65

60

155.1214

Imran Khan

88

3,807

37.69

362

22.81

28

137.8134

Richard Hadlee

86

3,124

27.17

431

22.30

39

134.6444

 

However, that tells us about the volume of runs and wickets for Kallis and the others. If we want to do a per-match performance, however, the best idea would probably be to find a combined average of sorts. The easiest approach to this would probably be to divide the product above by the number of Tests played.

 

Top all-rounders: Product of runs and wickets per match (qualification: 2,000 runs and 100 wickets)

 

Player

M

R

Bat Ave

W

Bowl Ave

C

R x W

Jacques Kallis

166

13,289

55.37

292

32.65

200

388.0388

Kapil Dev

131

5,248

31.05

434

29.65

64

227.7632

Shane Warne

145

3,154

17.33

708

25.42

125

223.3032

Ian Botham

102

5,200

33.55

383

28.4

120

199.16

Garry Sobers

93

8,032

57.78

235

34.04

109

188.752

Daniel Vettori

112

4,516

30.11

360

34.42

57

162.576

Shaun Pollock

108

3,781

32.32

421

23.12

72

159.1801

Anil Kumble

132

2,506

17.77

619

29.65

60

155.1214

Imran Khan

88

3,807

37.69

362

22.81

28

137.8134

Richard Hadlee

86

3,124

27.17

431

22.3

39

134.6444

 

 

The above table should have sufficed to establish Kallis’ supremacy, but let us do that conventional (batting average – bowling average) difference as well.

 

Top all-rounders: Batting average – Bowling average (qualification: 2,000 runs and 100 wickets)

 

Player

M

R

Bat Ave

W

Bowl Ave

C

Ave diff

Garry Sobers

93

8,032

57.78

235

34.04

109

23.75

Jacques Kallis

166

13,289

55.37

292

32.65

200

22.72

Imran Khan

88

3,807

37.69

362

22.81

28

14.88

Keith Miller

55

2,958

36.98

170

22.98

38

14

Shaun Pollock

108

3,781

32.32

421

23.12

72

9.2

Trevor Goddard

41

2,516

34.47

123

26.23

48

8.24

Tony Greig

58

3,599

40.44

141

32.21

87

8.23

Ian Botham

102

5,200

33.55

383

28.4

120

5.15

Shakib Al Hasan

32

2,105

37.59

113

32.63

14

4.96

Richard Hadlee

86

3,124

27.17

431

22.3

39

4.86

 

 

The difference, of course, is not a parameter good enough (since the statistic is biased towards batsmen: a player with averages of 55 and 30, for example, would be equivalent to a man with 45 and 20, which would probably not be fair). Let us go for the ratio between the two averages, then.

 

Top all-rounders: Batting average / Bowling average (qualification: 2,000 runs and 100 wickets)

 

Player

M

R

Bat Ave

W

Bowl Ave

C

Ave Ratio

Garry Sobers

93

8,032

57.78

235

34.04

109

1.698

Jacques Kallis

166

13,289

55.37

292

32.65

200

1.696

Imran Khan

88

3,807

37.69

362

22.81

28

1.652

Keith Miller

55

2,958

36.98

170

22.98

38

1.609

Shaun Pollock

108

3,781

32.32

421

23.12

72

1.398

Trevor Goddard

41

2,516

34.47

123

26.23

48

1.314

Tony Greig

58

3,599

40.44

141

32.21

87

1.256

Richard Hadlee

86

3,124

27.17

431

22.3

39

1.218

Ian Botham

102

5,200

33.55

383

28.4

120

1.181

Shakib Al Hasan

32

2,105

37.59

113

32.63

14

1.152

 

 

 

The batsman

 

As a batsman, Kallis’ supremacy is quite well-defined: to put things simple, he had finished his career as the third-most prolific scorer in history, and second in terms of Test hundreds.

 

Top batsmen: Most runs (qualification: 7,000 runs)

 

Player M I NO R Bat Ave

100s

50s

Sachin Tendulkar

200

329

33

15,921

53.79

51

68

Ricky Ponting

168

287

29

13,378

51.85

41

62

Jacques Kallis

166

280

40

13,289

55.37

45

58

Rahul Dravid

164

286

32

13,288

52.31

36

63

Brian Lara

131

232

6

11,953

52.89

34

48

Shivnarine Chanderpaul

153

261

45

11,219

51.94

29

62

Allan Border

156

265

44

11,174

50.56

27

63

Steve Waugh

168

260

46

10,927

51.06

32

50

Mahela Jayawardene

138

232

14

10,806

49.57

31

45

Kumar Sangakkara

117

200

16

10,486

56.99

33

42

 

 

Not only had he finished third on the list, he had done so at a phenomenal batting average as well. Of all batsmen who have scored more runs than Don Bradman (in other words, over 7,000 runs) only Kumar Sangakkara, Sobers, and Wally Hammond have averaged more than Kallis.

 

Top batsmen: Highest average (qualification: 7,000 runs)

 

Player M I NO R Bat Ave

100s

50s

Sachin Tendulkar

200

329

33

15,921

53.79

51

68

Ricky Ponting

168

287

29

13,378

51.85

41

62

Jacques Kallis

166

280

40

13,289

55.37

45

58

Rahul Dravid

164

286

32

13,288

52.31

36

63

Brian Lara

131

232

6

11,953

52.89

34

48

Shivnarine Chanderpaul

153

261

45

11,219

51.94

29

62

Allan Border

156

265

44

11,174

50.56

27

63

Steve Waugh

168

260

46

10,927

51.06

32

50

Mahela Jayawardene

138

232

14

10,806

49.57

31

45

Kumar Sangakkara

117

200

16

10,486

56.99

33

42

 

 

Over the years, Kallis has been one of the most reliable grafters of the sport, relying more on patience, determination, and temperament than on belligerent strokeplay. In fact, the most he ranks third in terms of the number of balls faced in the career…

 

Most minutes batted

 

Player

M

I

NO

R

Mins

 

Rahul Dravid

164

286

32

13,288

44,152

 

Sachin Tendulkar

200

329

33

15,921

41,304

 

Jacques Kallis *

166

280

40

13,289

38,400

 

Allan Border

156

265

44

11,174

35,369

 

Shivnarine Chanderpaul *

153

261

45

11,219

35,588

 

* These are least numbers. Kallis and Chanderpaul have batted for AT LEAST those minutes. The innings length of some innings could not be obtained.

 
 
 

 

… as he does in terms of the number of minutes batted.

 

Most balls faced

 

Player

M

I

NO

R

Balls

 

Rahul Dravid

164

286

32

13,288

31,258

 

Sachin Tendulkar *

200

329

33

15,921

29,437

 

Jacques Kallis

166

280

40

13,289

28,903

 

Allan Border *

156

265

44

11,174

27,002

 

Shivnarine Chanderpaul

153

261

45

11,219

25,902

 

* These are least numbers. Tendulkar and Border have batted for AT LEAST those minutes. The innings length of some innings could not be obtained.


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