If Jacques Kallis can give SA two more years, they will rule for long: Harsha Bhogle

It is a staggering line up with the batting fit to compare with any in the last thirty years and the pace attack quite the best in the world at the moment. They field brilliantly, have an extraordinary athlete as wicket keeper and if there is a weak link at all, it is with spin. Imran Tahir was never going to be the wrist spinner they craved for and Peterson is a worthy trier. But with a fair degree of instability with other contenders, they look good enough to keep their number one status longer than any of the other recent holders of that distinction.

And it is a team of varying personalities. Graeme Smith is secure as Test captain, scores his share of runs and you realise with a bit of a start given how long he has been around, that he is still only 31. It is not inconceivable that he could have his best years ahead of him. As could four other batsmen in that line up. Hashim Amla, surely at the height of his powers is 29, Francois du Plessis is 28, Jean Paul Duminy is that age too as is the man I believe is the most remarkable cricketer in the world today, AB de Villiers. If Kallis can give them two more years and twenty overs a game, they could rule for long.

In two matches in Australia we saw two completely different facets to de Villiers. Battling to save the game in Adelaide he batted 220 balls without a boundary for 33. The runs were insignificant compared to the approach.

And then at Perth, the natural strokeplayer in him emerged and 169 came from 184 balls. Very very few players in the modern game can switch roles with such ease. Remember he has only recently started keeping wickets in test cricket and he does that as well as anyone else. Before that he easily found a place in a list of the best fielders in the world and at the IPL this year produced one of the most stunning displays of inventive batting I have ever seen. Against Dale Steyn steaming in! He must be some cricketer!

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