Kallis is a great criketer and I don't think is underrated as such.
I was the greatest ever Botham fan (or so I thought) when I was a kid, I lived and breathed him, and modelled myself on him as a club cricketer, so much so that there were times that I thought could there be Cricket after Botham. In subsequent years I have reflected on his career more objectively. I'm not a stats man and rely on a lot of stuff from memory and appreciate memory can sometimes omit fine detail.
What I remember about Ian Terrence though is at odds, somewhat to what I thought of him when I was younger.
He was a good all rounder averaged about 33 batting mostly at six and got about 380 odd wickets.
However, Ian's early career was a lot better than his final mostly unproductive years as a cricketer.
He got a hundred test wickets and a hundred test wickets in only 2 years of test cricket. One thing stats don't tell you though is that the majority of Ian's formative test career was against 3rd rate Australian (1977 and 78/79) New Zealand (77/78 and 78) and Pakistani (77/78 and 78) test teams that had been ravaged by Kerry Packer's cricket circus.
Still not a mean feat but Australia were missing Dennis Lillee, Rod Marsh, Garry Gilmour and Ian Chappell. Pakistan were missing Majid Khan, Mushtaq Mohammed, Asif Iqbal and Imran Khan. New Zealand, Glenn Turner.
To be fair he did phenomenally well against this early opposition including a weak India (with a very young Kapil Dev) in 79.
Brearley relinquished the captaincy after the India series and Ian got the capatancy at the Age of 24.
Lost only 1-0 at home to Windies in 1980, respectable, but honestly could and should have been 4-0 but for some freak luck.
Got away with a 1-0 defeat in the carribean in 80/81. One test washed out, one test saved by Gower and 2 tests severely disrupted by the inclusion of Robin Jackman in the English team causing West Indian Boycotts.
Then the famous 81 series. Hammered in the first test, second test saved by Gower, then the legend of Botham born. A phenomenal 149 no at Headingley that gave England a crack at the Aussies for a second time in the match.
An unbelievable victory, that wouldn't have been achieved but for Willis' 8 for 40 odd.
Edgbaston next ; thanks to his spell of 5 for 1 in twenty odd balls. This five for included Martin Kent, Dennis Lillee, Tery Alderman, Ray Bright andprobably Rod Marsh or some other rubbish that I can't remember. Hardly bowling out the West Indies first 5 of the 1980s.
Old Trafford brilliant 118 , with great attacking batting, Tavare at the other end had scored 9 to Botham's hundred.
25 years old at this point. His last test was in 1992 at the age of 36. Since 81 he'd scored a couple of hundreds against a ###### New Zealand, A double and a hundred against a woefull india and a great 138 ish at the gabba against an average Australia in 86/87.
His bowling had declined , although briefly in 1986 he became the leading test wicket taker of all time.
He was a good catcher and took over 100 in tests, however, it could be argued that he never achieved against the best side, the West Indies, he never got a test hundred against them ( He did however get a club 100 aginst them for Worcs) He took 8 wickets in an innings once against them but did very little else against them.
In the last 5 years of his test career he only took about 10 wickets and scored just 1 fifty.
He was good but did play against some ordinary opposition.
Hadlee, Khan and Dev were stronger towards the end of their respective careers.
The three of them better bowlers than Batsmen. Botham in my opinion outshone them with the bat and with the ball in his early career, when he could swing it both ways.
Kallis is a great batsmen better than any of the all rounders mentioned and was a very good bowler, not as effective with the ball now and in my opinion even at his best not as good with the ball as the other all rounders mentioned.
Mark mentioned Mike Proctor. Proctor was a fine allrounder with Gloucestershire, but because of the Gleneagle's agreement his test career was curtailed after only two or three tests, therefore it would be impossible to comment on his standing as an international all rounder. South Africa had all rounders that were potentially as good but were never allowed too much test cricket, in Eddie Barlow and Clive Rice.Wake upeveryone, I'm done.
Ps Sobers in addition to opening the bowling could bowl leg spin off spin or medium pace swing.
Edited by Andrew Vause, 05 January 2011 - 09:23 PM.