HAMBANTOTA: South Africa captain AB de Villiers and his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahela Jayawardene marvelled at the ageless Jacques Kallis, describing the 36-year-old as the best all-rounder of his era.
Kallis returned career-best figures of four for 15 to take the man of the match award as South Africa thrashed Zimbabwe by 10 wickets on Thursday.
“Jacques is an amazing player, one of a kind. Obviously I've no idea how he keeps doing it,” de Villiers said after South Africa's comprehensive victory in their opening match of the Twenty20 World Cup.
“I am jealous at what he gets right at this old age, I can't think of myself doing that at that age.
“He is a wonderful player and we are grateful to have him in the squad.”
Kallis, who made his test debut in 1995, has scored more than 10,000 runs and taken over 200 wickets in both tests and the 50-over format.
He is as successful in the shortest T20 format of the game and Jayawardene has no qualms in terming him as the greatest all-rounder of his generation.
“I don't think anyone would disagree that Jacques would be the best all-rounder in our generation in all forms of the game,” Jayawardene said.
“He's improving everyday and that's because of the hunger that he has and the competitive edge. He didn't show any complacency when he went out against Zimbabwe, the intensity was the same.
“That's a quality that every young cricketer should have. Jacques is a great opponent and that level of players, that's what they want to do.
“They don't want to be remembered as players who used to be brilliant, not so any more but they want to be at the top as long as they play.”