Durban, Dec 29: Former South African captain Shaun Pollock feels that the retiring Jacques Kallis is modern era's "greatest all-rounder" who can only be compared to contemporary legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting and Brian Lara to name a few.
"In the modern era, he will go down as the greatest all-rounder, if not the cricketer. I can't compare with others that I didn't see play. I don't know what (Sir Garfield) Sobers was like. From what I have experienced, Kallis was certainly the greatest all-rounder of my generation," Pollock said at a press conference here.
"The people you would be comparing him with would be Ricky Ponting, Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara and maybe Rahul Dravid as well. Lara for example, was more flamboyant. Sachin, we all know, went in at age 16, having the reputation that he did in India meant that he got a lot of accolades and brought a lot of attention to himself."
According to Pollock, Kallis was a silent performer who always did his bit for the team. "...Jacques just got on with his business, continuously getting runs, being the backbone of our batting line-up for a long period of time. Even on his bowling contributions, it was always two or three wickets he used to pick up.
"But there weren't many performances that brought a lot of attention to him. He was always there doing his part. And I think that's why in many ways, he slipped underneath the radar.
"We appreciated him here. But maybe we didn't give him as much attention, didn't give him as many accolades as Ponting or Sachin got in Australia or India," said Pollock.
Pollock believes that Kallis was the man who raised the benchmark for the South African batsmen.
"I think Kallis has been a catalyst for many South African batsmen. At that time, we had a lot of batsmen averaging in the 40's or just over-40. He raised the benchmark.
"He took it to a new level. Guys have followed suit. Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers all the guys who have come after have set themselves new standards of what is a good average and what is to be achieved."