Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Kallis last played an ODI in February 2012
South Africa all-rounder Jacques Kallis has announced that it is still his “aspiration” to represent the Proteas at the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, despite not having played an ODI since February 2012.
Kallis recently confirmed his commitment to playing ODIs for South Africa, but head coach Russell Domingo stated that the 37-year-old’s workload would be closely monitored as one more injury could effectively end his illustrious international career.
“Playing for my country has always been both a huge honour and a privilege,” Kallis said. “It remains my aspiration to be available for the 2015 World Cup but, at the same time I know as an allrounder approaching my 38th birthday, I will need to assess my future in the game season by season.
“At the moment I am feeling mentally and physically refreshed and I am looking forward to carry on playing for my country as long as possible.”
While Domingo still wants Kallis to be part of the ODI squad, his predecessor Gary Kristen believes it is “no longer necessary” for the all-rounder to be playing limited overs matches as he is an extremely important asset to the country’s Test team
“We will manage Jacques’ career season by season and take it game by game,” Domingo told ESPNcricinfo. “There is no set number of ODIs he will play before the World Cup, but the closer to the tournament we get, the more he will play.
“Forget about his runs and wickets, to have someone of Jacques’ experience – whether he makes the World Cup squad or not – will be very important for the developing of younger players. No-one is guaranteed a place in the side and no-one is guaranteed a place in the World Cup squad. It all depends on fitness and form.
“He looks very fit, he has been doing a lot of running. It was good to talk about his ambitions. We will have another formal discussion at the end of the season to plot the way forward.”
Kallis has succumbed to an injury in every one of South Africa’s last five Test series.
His last Test match for South Africa came against Pakistan in Cape Town in February.
During that series, Kallis missed the third and final Test due to an injury he sustained and as a result he was forced to miss the ODI series that followed.
The 37-year-old made his return during the Indian Premier League (IPL), but opted out of the last ever Champions Trophy due to personal reasons.
With Kallis not having been around the ODI scene for over a year, Domingo has been experimenting with other batsmen, but despite AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis and Jean Paul (JP) Duminy all having produced stellar performances while batting up the order, Domingo clearly stated that Kallis would be given a top order spot when he makes his highly-anticipated ODI comeback.
“Jacques can bat at No. 3 or No. 4 and maybe AB can bat at No. 5 so this doesn’t really change our plans,” Domingo said. “We will try and find some balance. There will still be a lot of opportunities for younger players.”
Cricket South Africa CEO Haroon Lorgat was pleased to hear that Kallis had committed himself to representing South Africa in ODIs, and said: “Jacques is an extraordinary player who appreciates the ODI team-building process that is currently under way. His availability is welcomed and CSA will do everything possible to help him achieve his personal ambitions while building a new generation ODI team.”