Cricket stumpsI warn you once again that if you’re not interested in cricket, or are bored of my obsession with Jacques Kallis… just ignore this post.
Let’s review his performance in India. He batted in only 3 of the 5 games (one washed out, one the openers did their job).
In his first innings, he came in with us chasing a low total. He hit a very streaky four past a vacant slip area of the 3rd ball. Then scofred another 2 runs off the next 3 balls. So, he had 6 off 7 balls. I wonder how long you think it took him to get his next 2 runs? The answer is…

26 balls!! Yes, next time you look, he’s got 8 runs off 33 balls. OK, he did speed up, and we ultimately won the game with 7 balls to spare, after some heroics from Kemp (46 from 49 balls). India showed us in the next game how to chase a low total, winning in the 35th over! We did something similar in the 4th game of the series (when Kallis didn’t bat), winning in the 35th over as well. Its OK to win in the second last over, and call it “pacing yourself” but what if something goes wrong? What if your batting partner can’t do what Kemp did? Its a high risk strategy that can backfire more often than it will work.
In the second game, Kallis got 2 off of 8 balls.
In the last game, we were setting a total. After one early wicket, Kallis comes to the wicket and proceeds to bat like a snail. OK, he needs to consolidate, but 20 overs later he hasn’t picked up his pace at all. He’s still there in the last 10 overs, going at the same pace! From over 40 to over 48 (when he got out) he scored 14 runs off 21 balls (S/R: 70). This put HUGE pressure on his batting partner, Kemp (who scored 11 off 12 balls and went out trying to whack one over the boundary). Kallis then scored a 4 (his first since over 33!!) and went out the next ball! Pollock, who followed Kemp, by contrast scored 30 off 17 balls.
Kallis ended with 91, but off 146 balls. S/R: 62. If everyone had a strike rate of 62, we would have made 186. We actually made 221.
Then, India came into bat, and a similar thing happened to them. Early wickets, and Dravid came in to stabilise the innings. He ended up unbeaten with 78, off of 106 balls. S/R: 73.5. If Kallis had batted at that strike rate, he would have made 107 runs, and we could have won the game, seeing as India only had 15 balls left at the end of the match.
MY POINT IS SIMPLE: Kallis is one the greatest living test cricketers, but he should not be playing one day internationals. When you take a talented person, and put them in the wrong position, and then do not incentivise behaviour change, you cause problems. It doesn’t show up when you play weak teams like Wst Indies or medium teams like New Zealand or India. But when you take on the world’s best, like Australia, its going to find you out. The same is true in business, when dealing with talented employees.

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