'Retiring' Kirsten says 'two-in-one' Kallis' absence to leave 'huge void' in Proteas squad

Johannesburg, May 25 (ANI): Outgoing South African coach Gary Kirsten has said that the absence of veteran player Jacques Kallis will leave a huge void in the squad, ahead of the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy.

Kallis opted out of representing the Proteas in the last edition of the Champions Trophy due to personal reasons, but indicated he still wants to play in the 2015 Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, Sport24 reports.

Stating that Kallis's absence would be enormous, Kirsten, who will step down as coach after the eight-nation tournament in England and Wales, said that Kallis could make any Test team in the world just as a bowler.

According to Kirsten, Kallis is 'two players in one' as he is also one of the top batsmen in the world and has contributed a lot to maintain the balance of the team, adding that he is similar to one-day captain AB de Villiers.

Meanwhile, Kirsten also said the focus for South Africa should be to look for players with similar versatility in future as then they would also have the option of picking out more specialists and balance the team, adding that they had to pick a top order batsman and an extra bowler to fill the position left vacant by Kallis.

Kirsten further said that it is necessary for the squad to move on because Kallis is nearing the end of his career, adding that it would be better for the squad if they widen their player base soon.

The Proetas start their Champions Trophy campaign against India in Cardiff on June 6. Their other group stage opponents are Pakistan (June 10, Birmingham) and West Indies (June 14, Cardiff), the report added(ANI)

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