Kallis all set to repeat feat
Jacques Kallis is now almost officially the stumbling block for South Africa. He did it two months ago in the one-dayers against India
. He is all set to do it again. At a time when South Africa needed to make quick runs, he plodded along at a runrate less than two an over, even as Herschelle Gibbs cantered away at the other end on day four at Sydney
South Africa started the day 96 runs ahead with 9 wickets in hand. Smith went early, the first time he has been dismissed below 20 in the series, but without a single fifty to his name. Gibbs then spanked the bowling all around the ground and took Lee to the cleaners. He also hit McGrath for a few boundaries after being dropped by Warne. At the other end, Kallis batted as though in a dream, totally oblivious to the fact that with time being lost due to poor weather and being 1-0 down in the series, it was entirely upto South Africa to make things happen.
Given that batting hadn't been all that tough, South Africa would have had to declare at close to stumps today to ensure that they bowled as many overs as possible, setting Australia a target of around 320. If Kallis had batted with even three fourths the intensity and urgency Gibbs showed, South Africa would be more than 220 runs ahead at this stage. Even if the last session was hit due to rain, they could have gone for quick runs and got to around 300 in front, giving themselves some sort of a chance of winning the game.
But Kallis' final act (so far today) was yet to come. Maybe it was the gloomy weather which put him to sleep, but he sent back Gibbs a tad too late and Hodge scored a direct hit to run out Gibbs. It is certainly not as though Hodge had a choice, because Kallis was in his crease, but even if Kallis was halfway down the pitch, Hodge [and Australia] would have preferred running out Gibbs because Kallis certainly seemed to be batting for Australia.
Peter English uses a similar theme
to explain the 'Kallis effect'. S Rajesh examines the numbers and also comes to a similar conclusion: Kallis is too absorbed in his own capsule
to bother about the state of the game.