England’s Jonny Bairstow said on Thursday that the addition of South African great Jacques Kallis as battle advisor is a “fantastic addition” to their team on the Sri Lanka tour. Kallis, 45, has flown in from South Africa to head to England from January 14 for their two-Test series in Sri Lanka. Bairstow, who is expected to return his Test after more than a year, is looking forward to his work. with the class of Kallis, which he rates as the “best all-rounder ever”.
“I think it’s a fantastic addition, someone of Jacques caliber,” Bairstow told reporters in a virtual chat from his hotel room in Hambantota.
“The things he’s done in the game, in my opinion he’s the best all-rounder there has ever been.
“Someone who hit the top, caught absolute flies on slip and got so many wickets too.”
Kallis scored 13,289 runs averaging over 55 in 166 tests and took 292 wickets with his pace bowling during his 19-year international career.
Only Sachin Tendulkar from India and former Australian captain Ricky Ponting have scored more runs than former Proteas all-rounder in the five-day format.
Bairstow, 31, believes he has a lot to learn from the South African legend who is in isolation in Sri Lanka and should join the squad on Friday.
“There are so many different aspects that you could talk to him about. I am really intrigued to spend more time with him and gauge and understand the process,” said Bairstow.
“Because it is a skill in itself to string all three bits together so successfully, over such a long period of time.
“It’s great to have Jacques around and I’m really looking forward to spending some time with him and working with him.”
The England team, led by Joe Root, underwent their second practice at Hambantota on Thursday after an early setback when all-rounder Moeen Ali tested positive for Covid 19.
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