Bangalore: Jacques Kallis, the South Africa allrounder, has admitted that, like many connoisseurs, he too did not buy into the idea of Twenty20 cricket when it was first mooted. Only on realising its popularity and inevitable growth was Kallis persuaded to work on his performances in the shortest format, and he soon found it improved other aspects of his game.
"A lot of us perhaps didn't accept Twenty20 cricket at first. I certainly didn't," Kallis said during an interview with ESPNcricinfo. "Then you realise that it's here to stay. It was a format of the game that I wanted to get better at and improve in, and I put a lot of time and effort into it." Kallis was dropped from South Africa's World Twenty20 squad in 2007 but worked his way back in after making notable efforts to increase his strike-rate during his time with Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL. He was a regular in the South African team in 2009 but stopped playing Twenty20 internationals after the World T20 in 2010, when his career needed to be better managed and South Africa looked to build different squads for each format.
Kallis recently featured in a one-off T20 against India in Johannesburg and made 61 off 42 balls. The match was played in his honour and the proceeds donated to his scholarship foundation. He also features regularly for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL. "I think it really has helped other formats as well. A long time ago, people were worried that one-day cricket was going to affect Test cricket negatively and I don't think it has. It has been really good for the game, as has T20 cricket."