Cricket: Proteas' lack of prep no bother for Kallis

All-rounder Jacques Kallis says that South Africa are ready for their battle for Test cricket supremacy in a three-match series against England, despite what some critics believe has been inadequate preparation time.

South Africa, aiming to knock England off their perch as the number one-ranked Test side, have had only one two-day game and one three-day match -- both of which were rain-affected -- but Kallis said the team was nevertheless "in a great space".

"The guys feel that if the Test match started a couple of days ago it would have been perfect," Kallis said at the Oval on Tuesday.

"As far as preparation is concerned the guys have got exactly what they wanted out of it. Today (Tuesday) and tomorrow (Wednesday) are just top-up days."

Kallis added that he expected the series to boil down to which team played the key moments better, with the two sides boasting probably the two best bowling attacks in world cricket.

"It's going to be an interesting battle to see who comes out on top. Both sides have got good batters as well. It's going to be a fantastic series."

He insisted the South Africans had not picked out any England bowler as a particular threat.

"You've got to respect every bowler and every ball that comes your way. We will have to be on the top of our game to make sure we don't give away any soft wickets."

Kallis said he was not concerned that South Africa have lost all three of their previous Tests at the Oval nor that his personal batting record on three previous tours was relatively poor.

He averages 29.30 in England compared to an outstanding overall Test average of 56.78.

"I don't think there is a reason why we haven't played well here," he said. "We've got to do what we've been doing for the last couple of weeks and not worry about the ground or the opposition."

Kallis preferred to concentrate on what he described as "fond memories" of the 2008 tour when South Africa had already clinched the series before they lost the final Test at the Oval.

Of his own record in England, he said: "I couldn't tell you why that is. I'm not someone who worries too much about what happened in the last innings or on previous tours.

"You don't get a head start if you've done well in a previous innings or previous tours. You start with nought behind your name. It's not like Formula One where you get pole position."

Kallis said South Africa had an extra incentive to do well in England, both to pay tribute to captain Graeme Smith and close friend and long-serving wicketkeeper Mark Boucher.

Smith will be playing in his 100th Test at the Oval while Boucher suffered a career-ending eye injury in a warm-up match against Somerset in Taunton

"It's a special achievement to play 100 Tests," he said of Smith. "He's been captain for most of them as well which is an incredible effort. He's contributed massively."

Kallis admitted the injury to Boucher, who was hit in the left eye by a bail, had affected him deeply.

"It was a sickening blow. Standing next to him, seeing it and hearing it wasn't nice. It took a couple of days for myself and some of the other guys to get over it but we've heard positive reports from back home.

"He's at the back of our thoughts but he wants us to play good, hard cricket. It probably brought the team a lot closer together so, even if he's not with the team, in a strange way he's still having an influence."

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Preview — Given the firepower in both line-ups, Dubai crowd may see another high-scorer More »

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Preview — The threat of Sunil Narine looms large again. More »

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

It's getting increasingly tough for bowlers, says Ajmal

It's getting increasingly tough for bowlers, says Ajmal

The 36-year-old believes the T20 format and rule changes in 50-over matches have made a real difference. More »

Some BCCI members want independent probe

Some BCCI members want independent probe

The board members are realising after the Supreme Court's observations that something has to be done — IS Bindra More »

Moores to get second chance in England top job

Moores to get second chance in England top job

The 51-year-old will succeed Andy Flower, who stepped down after five years in charge following the 5-0 Ashes defeat in Australia in January. More »

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Stressed Trott stands down again

Stressed Trott stands down again

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the United States… More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have an emphatic 8-3 lead in the head-to-head with Punjab, with one game tied More »

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

A quality that defines Rajasthan and Hyderabad is consistency. Rajasthan was one among two teams to enjoy complete dominance at home last season. Hyderabad… More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

New-look RCB will play their first game of IPL-7 on Thursday. More »