England’s wicket-keeper batsman, Jonny Bairstow has recently acclaimed Jaques Kallis as the greatest all-rounder ever to play the game. Bairstow is elated with the addition of the South African legend to England’s support staff as a batting consultant for the Sri Lanka Test series which commences on January 14th in Galle.
Bairstow, a mainstay in England’s white-ball teams, is making a comeback to Joe Root’s Test squad. He was last seen in the whites for the Three Lions in December 2019. The Yorkshireman averaged a lowly 18.55 in 10 Tests in 2019 with just a couple of half-centuries. He is recalled in the side as a middle-order batsman, Ollie Pope is ruled out with a shoulder injury and opener, Rory Burns is on paternity leave.
“I think it is a fantastic addition, someone of Jacques’ caliber. The things he has done within the game, in my eyes he is the best all-rounder that there has ever been. Someone that batted at the top of the order caught absolute flies at slip, and got so many wickets as well,” Jonny Bairstow told reporters in a virtual press conference.
Really looking forward to spending some time with Kallis: Jonny Bairstow
Bairstow, who scored a hundred on his previous tour to the island nation, wishes to spend time and improve his batting with the help of the former Protea all-rounder. The 31-year-old is in awe of Kallis’ mastery in all three departments of the game in a career spanning over 19 years.
Kallis retired with 13289 Test runs- only behind Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting – and 11579 ODI runs along with picking more than 500 international wickets. Kallis is currently in quarantine in Sri Lanka and will soon join the squad. After two Tests in Sri Lanka, England will travel to India for matches in all three formats.
“There are so many different aspects you could speak to him about. I am really intrigued to spend more time with him and gauge and understand the process. Because to string all three bits together so successfully, over such a long period of time, is a skill in itself.
“It’s great to have Jacques around and I am really looking forward to spending some time with him and working with him,” the right-hander added.
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