South African legend, Jacques Kallis has revealed how - despite his early misgivings - he has grown to love T20 cricket and is hopeful of a first World T20 victory for his side in Sri Lanka.
Having made his test debut for the Proteas in 1995, Kallis arrived on the international cricket scene long before the dawn of international T20 cricket and, as a cricket purist, he freely admits that he took time to warm to the shortest format of the game. Despite his early scepticism, Kallis is now a key part of the South Africa T20 squad and he has grown to love the twenty over format.
"I always knew that I was going to enjoy it," Kallis said. "I think it's a great format, it's exciting and it's brought new challenges as the game progresses."
At 36, Kallis has enjoyed a huge amount of success with the South African test team but, having represented the Proteas in four 50 over world cups and two world T20 tournaments, he has still to secure any major silverware in ODI or T20 cricket. They are one of the favourites in the Betfair T20 cricket betting markets and Kallis hopes to live up to that billing in Sri Lanka.
"Obviously the cherry on top would be the 50-over one,” he added. “but we've worked hard to get well prepared for this Twenty20 World Cup and I have no doubt that if we play the cricket anywhere near the way we know we can, and have, there's no reason why we can't win this tournament. Winning it could also be very special."
Kallis is South Africa’s all time leading run scorer in 50 over cricket and, despite occasional criticism for his slower batting style, he still averages over 40 in T20 internationals and has been well backed in cricket betting tips to top the run-scoring charts.
South Africa’s previous best performance in the World T20 came in 2009 when they reached the semi-finals. Whilst they will be unfancied to go on and win the tournament this time round, South Africa will certainly be hard to beat if Kallis performs.