Thursday 11 October 2007 

Smith Hails Kallis As Best Ever South African Batsman

South African skipper Graeme Smith hailed Jacques Kallis as the best batsman ever produced by the country after the pair shared a double-century partnership against Pakistan in the second test on Thursday.

Smith (133) scored his first century in 17 tests and Kallis (107 not out) his third of the two-match series as South Africa moved towards victory on the fourth day thanks to their stand of 207.

"I think he (Kallis) is a superb player. The way has batted in this series has been unbelievable," Smith told reporters.

"He is always hungry for runs, never satisfied and he knows his game so well.

"The performance he has put in, he is South Africa's best batsman ever," Smith added.

Kallis, who is back in the team after being dropped for the Twenty20 World Cup at home, has scored 411 runs in the series, with twin centuries of 155 and 100 not out in the first test in Karachi.

Smith said his own century was special because it was his first in the subcontinent.

"It was a relief getting this hundred after such a long time. It is obviously very special and right up there with the double hundreds I got against England," he said.

"Having grown up in South Africa against fast bowling, scoring a hundred against spinners in the subcontinent is...big encouragement as a batter."

"Obviously it was turning a lot out there and for me, a left-hander, finding scoring options was always difficult. So I am pretty happy with my effort. I want to make it count now for the year," he added.

© Reuters 2007