Tag Archives: jacques kallis

Standing in the shadow of giants armed with a clipboard: the Domingo/allrounder story

When David Warner was dropped for the second time, it became clear there was something really wrong with this South Africa team. Morne Morkel came in, unlike many times when he simply almost came in, and the ball took off one of this Centurion pitch’s many uneven parts and Warner cut hard at a ball that was flying upwards. The edge went very quick, and kept going up, in the direction of second slip.

It was a hard catch, and it went down.

Second slip is where Jacques Kallis stood during the last three decades.

Ryan McLaren and Graeme Smith were quite clear that the reason South Africa chose to bowl first was because of history and statistics. Michael Clarke thought the pitch might play up for a session, then even out after lunch. Australia lost three wickets before lunch, one after lunch. Sometimes you can look at the numbers and read them exactly right, and still be wrong.

Smith would have made this decision in conjunction with the stats-loving Russell Domingo.

Domingo is sitting in the chair that Gary Kirsten used to sit in as South Africa’s head coach.

Old-school cricket wisdom, the sort that leans on bars and tells you why the youngster won’t make any runs against a real attack, tells you that how a side acts in the field shows where they are mentally. Well South Africa acted like a side that didn’t believe in themselves. They fielded like a side without hope. And they did it on day one, before they truly felt the power of Mitchell Johnson.

They held most of their catches that day. But they fumbled almost everything else. Morkel moved around the field terribly slowly, except for the moment he hit the ground incredibly slowly. Hashim Amla walked past a ball in the outfield. There were overthrows. And if they had a plan, Smith’s captaincy did everything they could to hide it.

By day three, when they had already been Johnsoned, they added dropping multiple catches to the overall act.

They did all of it without a fielding coach. Mike Young, fielding coach under Kirsten was gone (to Australia), and had not been replaced. The former conditioning coach, Rob Walter, was also heavily involved in preparations for fielding but he is now the Nashau Titans coach.

There are many who think there are too many people around a cricket team as there is. But surely in modern cricket, fielding is a part of the game that needs a full-time person in charge of it. And it might be too simple to say that South Africa only fielded that way because they didn’t have a fielding coach.

But surely it couldn’t hurt.

India turned up with a new team in South Africa. They played like young men trying to make a point. Their batting line up looked like something that will haunt people for the next ten years. And they handled the South African attack well, although often not all at once. Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Murali Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane all played top knocks. They went very close to winning the first Test (and then losing it). In the second Test, India made 334 in the first innings. South Africa made 500. Kallis made 115. South Africa won the Test, and the series.

Had Kallis not played in that series, it is possible that South Africa would have lost that Test.

Against Pakistan in the UAE, South Africa lost the first Test and won the second, drawing the series against a team ranked well below them. Kallis took no wickets and made 12 runs in that series. It was the first Test series that Kirsten was not coach for. Domingo had not started brilliantly.

The only thing faster than Mitchell Johnson at the moment is the speed at which sides start to do emergency introspection after he has bashed them. There is something about playing Australia (and by that I mostly mean Mitchell Johnson) that strips every part of your game to the bone. If South Africa were going to play any opposition after Kallis retired, Australia was certainly the worst choice.

South Africa love allrounders. They love them more than any other country, and they provide more than any other country. And they lost a king.

But they couldn’t replace him with a king. Sure they could have tried someone like Obus Pinaar, to see if he was the next chosen one (a double century in first-class cricket and a bowling average of 24.16 bowling left-arm quick). But they didn’t take the chance with him.

Instead they replaced Kallis with two allrounders: McLaren at No. 7, Robin Peterson at No. 8. Two players who have done all they can to get the most out of themselves, who can provide in many different ways. But they aren’t proper Test allrounders. Peterson is not strong enough to bat at seven consistently and in 15 Tests he has taken 38 wickets at 37.26. McLaren has only three first-class three hundreds from 100 matches. He has bowling talent, but he is not in the best five seam bowlers in South Africa.

They are both bandaids over the open Kallis wound. Carrying a partially covered wound is not the way to play Mitchell Johnson.

McLaren batted at No. 7 against Australia, Faf du Plessis batted there against India. In this Test, du Plessis moved up to No. 4 – the Kallis spot.

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Gary Kirsten was a tough son-of-a-bitch cricketer, who put as high a price on his wicket as almost any before him for over 100 Tests. He scored 188 not out in a World Cup game. He coached India to the top of the test Test rankings and helped them win a World Cup. He was a South African playing legend and a winning coach. He was tough, and smart. It would have taken a real maverick, or someone properly stupid, to not listen or follow his advice. He took on the batting coaching himself, as he had done when working with MS, Virender, Rahul and Sachin.

The man who replaced him doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page, and his name is spelt incorrectly on the South Africa cricket team Wikipedia page.

Domingo was the man who gave Kirsten his first coaching job. He has a good record in domestic cricket, helping the Warriors to limited-overs glory and also a runners-up finish in the Champions League. But he wasn’t a first-class player. He is a career coach. And he has taken over the best group of cricketers on the planet.

Domingo is friendly and personable. Few have a bad word to say about him. But just because he was groomed by Kirsten doesn’t mean he is going to have the same impact. Grooming coaches can go horribly wrong. As an assistant you are a shoulder to cry on, a man of responsibility, but not the man. And it can be hard for everyone to start thinking that way about you. Especially if you’re not the barking type, and the captain is a long-standing leader and legend.

Then there is the basic resentment towards coaches that cricket has. The young players might be used to having them around. But many ex-players still don’t trust most coaches, and they certainly don’t trust coaches who haven’t played at the highest level.

So all Domingo has to overcome is being a non-playing coach who was groomed to replace a legend while ex-players sharpen their swords and whilst being deprived of the most important player his country has ever produced.

It was Domingo who recently stated that Kallis’ maturity; calmness and presence will be missed in his retirement. It was maturity and calmness that could have helped when Johnson almost tore Smith’s head off in the first innings at Centurion.

When Australia made the (very brief) world record score in that eventful ODI at the Wanderers, it was Kallis who joked that Australia’s score was under par to lighten the mood.

A joke like that, from a man like Kallis, could do wonders.

Also the stern nature of Kirsten might have come in handy as session after session South Africa came off having fielded like the game was new to them. Kirsten got on well with senior players but wasn’t afraid to set clear boundaries and demanded the best from his players. While he was there, they often played exactly as he asked them.

Ryan McLaren took a rocket to the side of the head. He turned from the crease and did a slow walk and kneel as people came from everywhere to see if he was okay. Even with a helmet, it looked like brutal treatment. Without a helmet it would have resulted in much more than a small trickle of blood. He faced up to the next ball, and played it well. After tea he faced some more short balls. This time all he could do was find some glove through to the keeper.

There is little coaching you can do to play Johnson. According to AB de Villiers, you have to be willing to take some on the body. McLaren went one better. But he is a tall man with a first class average of 30.26; right now, to Johnson, that is chum. Peterson decided to just swing away, trying to confuse Johnson.

There is no coaching technique or advice from a legend that can help you through that.

Russell Domingo now has a 2-2 record from five Tests with the world’s best team (at least statistically) playing for him. He is playing two more Tests against a team with the seeming ability to burp magic rainbows on demand. If he pulls this off, and turns his team around by surfing into the tidal wave, he might be on his way to legendary status.

Right now, he looks very much like he is standing with a clipboard armed with stats, history and two average allrounders in the shadow of two giants, and doing all of it against a fire-breathing wyvern armed with nuclear weapons.

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vocabulary wins the day

Cricket journalists love a day like today.

They get all sweated up talking about how this is a proper day of cricket.

A typical sentence will be, “What an attritional, gritty, gruelling, testing, resolute arm wrestle of a contest, I remember a day like this….”

Not that they were wrong, those adjectives are correct. It was all of them, as are most days when Kallis makes runs.

Not that it was his fault, Kallis went slightly quicker than he usually does, it was just that no one else batted even that fast.

Amla and Prince dug themselves in.

AB looked a bit tentative.

And JP Duminy spent most of his day not scoring of the shorter ball.

South Africa were batting like a team really worried that their new four man attack, replete with new boy Friedel de Wet (check out the hair cut) was not quite as good as their attack of earlier this year.

England put South Africa in; not with any intent it seemed, but just to spice things up a little like a married coupe doing it with the lights on.

Botham yelled at Broad, Onions had no luck, Anderson was average and Collingwood wasn’t the worst medium pacer to bowl.

They were saved by Swann. Kallis decided that Swann was going to go the way of Bryce McGain, and for a couple of overs it looked possible, but Swann came back strong and was the only bowler who looked capable of taking a bag of wickets.

As all spinners do on the first day of a test when their captain have sent the opposition in.

South Africa’s treacle run rate will keep England interested, but they will need to score a lot more runs to give this make shift bowling unit a chance.

Love the blog, buy the book.

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the jacques kallis question

Looking at my google hits I would say the number one question in cricket at the moment is about Jacques Kallis.

Not about whether he is fit, the world’s best player or whom he is dating.

But whether he is a hermaphrodite/eunuch/woman.

He isn’t.

I haven’t checked, but he isn’t.

Kallis was born with a penis and testicles, he hasn’t cut them off, he doesn’t have a vagina, he is just a man.

Look at him, he is clearly a South African male in every way.

He doesn’t even look like a East Berlin female athlete.

He simply is a dude from South Africa.

People always want to know about this, I was even asked this while playing howzat the other day.

Yes he is a touch mooby, and he has nice hips for a bloke, but he is a man.

It does ruin the story though.

If he was a woman, or at least, intersex, that would be the greatest sporting story ever.

Forget about hairy polish women cleaning up in the sprints, this would be a person with both sets of genitals, either tiny vag, or baby sized penis, beating other full men.That has never knowingly been done before, the intersex usually perform against the women.

It still wouldn’t explain Kallis as a emtity, but I’d write a book on him/her.

Ofcourse if he is a eunuch, you’d have to ask why?

Did he not like the feel of the box on his junk?

But I fear he is just a normal human man.

Sorry.

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get fit with jacques kallis

mmmm sexy
© ceci

Are you sick of the unwanted bulge?

Is there too much junk in your trunk?

Sick and tired of people shouting wide when you are around?

Then you need Kallisthenics.

A fitness work out from the world’s finest international allrounder, Jacques Kallis.

Kallis has come up with a routine that will get you in the sort of shape required to bowl into out swingers into the wind all day.

“Hi, I’m South African all rounder Jacques Kallis, , I’ve made 10277 test runs and taken 258 wickets.

If you, like me, have struggled with your weight, why not try Kallisthenics, it is a complete body shaping series that can get you into International cricket shape. Who knows, you might even get a call up.

This is is the routine that I used to get into top shape, and I give it my personal Jacques seal of approval.”

If you want to get into shape like a test all rounder, Kallisenics is your only option.

Don’t delay, call the number now.

“After all, we all want to be all rounders, but none of us want to be all round.”

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South Africa legitimise Twenty20

If you want proof that Twenty20 is a proper form of cricket, look no further than South Africa choking.

If the form of cricket was all piss and giggles, South Africa would have crushed it like a big.

They didn’t.

While the talent of Afridi and Gul was the over riding factor in the victory, no one should down play the part that South Africa’s choke put in.

The innings of Jacques Kallis was positively awe inspiring, while other batsmen would have looked at the situation and said, “I know I am the Anchor here, but I see that the other batsman is struggling and the game is getting away from me, I better do something here”. Jacques seemed to say, if I play my cards right there is a not out in this for me.

JP Duminy was almost as bad. When you are batting with a cadaverous batsman and you have Albie and Boucher behind you, surely you have to step it up a bit. Sure JP tried, but he just didn’t try hard enough, There were so many times he should have just hit out or got out.

This was a partnership made in T20 hell.

And once Kallis went out, Albie got to face 4 balls.

That was it.

South Africa were out.

Graeme Smith said they were just beaten by a better team, and he was right.

A team that handled the pressure, performed at a much higher level, had match winners, didn’t have a innings paralysing partnership and didn’t choke.

This is one of the days that people love T20.

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They choked again

Cricket’s version of David Carradine has done it again, the saffas have choked.

Cough, cough, choke.

Afridi put the noose on, then he tightened it.

Umar Gul squeezed then to within an inch of death.

Jacques Kallis sat in the corner watching the whole thing.

And Mohammad Aamer locked the wardrobe door.

Why does a South African choke feel like your team has just won?

5 wins on the trot.

The Evil Robotic white ball players looked indestructible, but none of us really believed it, did we?

Why?

Because they choke.

They always choke.

Every world cup/thingy they choke.

And what better a man than Shahid Afridi to do the choking.

Can’t you just see him clad in leather from head to toe, whipping a ball gagged South African in a gimp mask that he’s already strung up before him.

What am I saying, if you saw the match that is exactly what you saw.

Because South Africa choked again.

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Hot Naked Cheerleaders

You may not be aware, but Jacques Kallis sister is a cheerleader, and she is currently dancing up a storm for the IPL.

Here is the first photo.

stop masturbating you pervert

Thanks for Ceci, of Mel & Ceci, for pointing out this photo.

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What went wrong?

Graeme Smith is disappointed with what has gone on with the captaincy round-about of recent times.

Ashwell Prince is pissed off he has to open.

Mark Boucher must be upset and confused with his treatment.

Neil McKenzie captained South Africa on the field 3 tests back.

And Jacques Kallis is now the 3rd/4th option to lead his side after 3 straight losses.

South Africa really don’t handle losing well.

This will be the first test in the whole series they have done in with a team more talented than Australia.

I would love to know what has gone wrong inside the changeroom.

Australia has played above and beyond, but South Africa have looked dead.

Something must be going on behind the scenes.

Smith said this on the captaincy issue, “It is disappointing, but the saddest thing is that during times like these, you need cool heads,”.

South Africa kept the same 11 players for 5 straight tests, and lost three of those tests.

The other two they came from behind.

Is this a glass house?

South Africa can still win this test and square off the overall series.

It just doesn’t seem like they will.

Their is an obvious reason why South Africa have fallen apart, and it’s not in the media, but as usual cricket with balls is ahead of the pack.

The whole team had a wild orgy after their win in Melbourne, and a bit like a bad TV show, all their tension is gone.

True story.

Also Jacques is still angry that Graeme is not a fan of the reach around.

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Mittens’s demoted

Didn’t take long for sanity to prevail.

Oh Kallis is captaining.

Didn’t take long for South Africa to completely lose the fucken plot.

Indulge me for a moment please.

Smith was captain; Mitch did him in.

Boucher took over in the field; has since been overlooked twice.

Ashwell Mittens Prince got the gig; but apparently opening the batting was too much for him.

And now Jacques Kallis is captain.

That is some major fucken freak out.

Boucher must be confused, good enough to captain days ago, since then two others have been promoted.

Johan Botha probably even got a call.

Surely we aren’t back on the wicket keepers can’t captain nonsense.

I can’t imagine there are too many people who believe Jacques Kallis would be a better captain than Mark Boucher.

Are there?

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Blood on the pitch

Where it should be.

Not on police officers.

Not on umpires.

Not on players.

But on the pitch.

A brutal bouncer from Mitchell Johnson.

An awkward attempt from Jacques Kallis.

A hole in the chin of Kallis.

Blood on his pads.

Blood on his whites.

And Blood on the pitch.

The only place we like it.

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