Kallis To Join Elite Club Of South Africans

Jacques Kallis will join the elite ranks of South Africans who have played in four World Cups when his team takes on the Netherlands in St Kitts on Friday. Fellow all-rounder Shaun Pollock will also earn his membership of the club in the West Indies assuming both remain fit and are selected. Fast bowling great Allan Donald and fielding ace Jonty Rhodes, who have both retired, are the other two South Africans with four World Cups to their credit. "I would have been happy to have played in one World Cup so to play in four is an absolute bonus," Kallis told reporters at South Africa's training session on Tuesday. Kallis said the already considerable intensity of playing international cricket was heightened further during the global showpiece of the one-day game. "The pressure of playing in a World Cup is so much greater because the eyes of the whole cricketing world are on you," he said. LIVELY PITCHES Batsmen would need to make the most of any advantage they were handed by the conditions during the tournament, Kallis said. "Generally, conditions in the West Indies aren't great for batting," he said. "So when you do get on a good deck you've got to make it count." South Africa bore the brunt of lively pitches in their warm-up games against Ireland, where they dwindled to 91 for eight before recovering to 192 and victory by 35 runs, and against Pakistan, who beat them by seven wickets. "Conditions weren't great in our warm-up games," Kallis said. "We would have liked to have more time in the middle but it's not the end of the world. "Once you make it past the new ball, conditions for batting do become better." The tournament culminates in the final in Bridgetown, Barbados on April 28. Kallis agreed that the event was lengthy, but said that might help players who were injured during the tournament. "It is a long tournament and I suppose that's not ideal," he said. "But there is a positive to be taken from that in the fact that players who pick up injury niggles will have the chance to get over them and still be able to play in the latter stages." Defending champions Australia and Scotland will meet in the first Group A match in St Kitts on Wednesday. © Reuters 2007