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Smith and Dhoni salute Jacques

Calcutta: Teammates or rivals, Jacques Kallis commands respect from everyone.

So on Monday, after Kallis bid goodbye from Test cricket, captains Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Graeme Smith saluted the legend and his game.

The following are excerpts

Graeme Smith: Jacques and I have played 105 Test matches together… Don’t know what’s next… But we can play a lot of golf now. Yes, that won’t be frequent… I won’t have that amount of time to go to golf courses that often. But I have a lot of memories of the good times that I have spent with him… Together we have spent a lot of time in the change rooms around the world and together we have notched up a lot of wins for the Proteas.

The thing that stands out for him is that he is a really outstanding human being… I am privileged to get to know him in person as a friend and in the long run that’s what counts. I am sure he is going to be there with the Proteas for many many years to come… And certainly with me as a friend.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni: Jacques is a fantastic cricketer… He doesn’t stick around much on the cricket field. I remember playing a Test match against South Africa, in Chennai… It was a big-scoring Test and throughout the match, he was standing in the slips and was just moving from one side to another.

Jacques has been a great cricketer. He has scored so many runs and have taken so many wickets… But one shouldn’t forget the number of catches he has taken. Most importantly, he has given South African cricket the luxury of a fast bowling all-rounder… Someone who can bat at the top of the order and can also bowl at around 140 kmph. In the last few years, he must have slowed down, but he can still bowl at around 133 kmph. It’s a real luxury.

Life has just started for him… He has given so much to South African cricket over the years. It’s time for him to get some time off, spend time with the family and start a new life.

AB de Villiers (MoS): It’s sheer honour for me to play with Jacques in his final Test match. I consider myself lucky and fortunate to have played in this match with him. It was just an amazing feeling walking around him after the match. He has been a rock in the team and he deserves all the praises. I am very happy that he is finishing on the high of winning a Test match.