‘A hungry Kohli can achieve anything’

CAPETOWN: Jacques Kallis may have retired from cricket but the legend doesn’t have time to see the Proteas take on India in the first Test here, starting January 5, as he will be busy with other assignments.

One of the finest all-rounders of all time, the former South Africa player and coach of Kolkata Knight Riders took time out to speak to Hindustan Times.


Your thoughts on Dale Steyn about to surpass Shaun Pollock’s record of most Test wickets for South Africa.

It will be a fantastic achievement, he has been a world-class performer for so many years and deserves all the accolades.

With Steyn returning, do you think South Africa should field the pace quartet against India?

It depends on the wickets. I would hesitate going to a Test without a spinner because they do play a role in the last couple of days. You have to look at the conditions and take a call.

With the kind of injury Steyn had, how long do you see him playing if he makes a successful comeback against India?

I don’t think he would be playing if he wasn’t 100% fit. I think he is fit and raring to go. An angry Steyn is an asset to any team.

Is this the best Indian bowling lineup to tour South Africa?

They have a talented bowling lineup. The conditions here will suit seamers slightly more than in India. So it would be interesting to see how the bowling attack goes. It will be an interesting series.

How effective will be Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the summer?

They have to adapt and adapt quickly. These are foreign conditions and they are not used to playing here. They have to learn what length to bowl here. If they get to bowl in the right area, they can be useful.

You played with Virat Kohli in the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) during the first IPL. How much has he changed since then?

He has become a world-class player. Results have shown that he is a fantastic player. We saw the talent in the early days in RCB when I was there. I had an idea that he would be become a really good player because he had the technique and temperament.

The form he is in, where do you see Kohli, the batsman, in the next three­four years?

It depends on how hungry he is, how fit he stays and how long he wants to play for. He can achieve whatever he wants to as long as he wants to.

Why don’t we see South Africa produce all­rounders like you, Shaun Pollock, Lance Klusener?

It’s a difficult one to answer. I suppose all-rounders don’t come around every day and the guys are certainly searching for the next all-rounder. Few guys are trying and putting their hands up. Hopefully, we can produce a guy who can change that.

Who do you think was the most genuine all­rounder of all time?

Obviously, Gary Sobers is the one who stands out. His record speaks for itself.

India have brought Hardik Pandya as an all­rounder. How do you think he should fare in South Africa?

I haven’t seen much of him. But all-rounders do play a role in balancing a side out.

He looks like he has got a lot of talent. Everyone’s interested in seeing how he goes about his business, particularly in South African conditions that are a little more helpful for seam bowlers.

Would you like to comment on Gautam Gambhir (Kolkata Knight Riders captain) saying he is open to playing for another IPL franchise?

I haven’t heard anything about that. You can’t say anything until the auction is done. You have to wait till it works out and which players we get to take.

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source: http://paper.hindustantimes.com/epaper/viewer.aspx

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