Kallis says beating Australia like winning World Cup

LAHORE, Pakistan, Oct 15 (Reuters) South Africa's record breaking all-rounder, Jacques Kallis said today beating Australia in a test series would be equivalent to winning a World Cup.

Kallis said a win against Australia next year in their own backyard would be the pinnacle of a career that has spanned 109 tests and 261 one-day internationals.

''I am not huge on personal goals but as a team the key goals for South Africa definitely would be winning the World Cup or beating Australia and England in England next year,'' Kallis said.

''Beating Australia would probably be the number one thing for me. It is a tough tour and they are the best in the world.

''You want to test yourself against them and beating them would be equivalent to winning the World Cup in a test series and I would want to be heavily involved in it,'' South Africa's leading run scorer said.

South Africa are scheduled to tour England then Australia in 2008.

The 32-year old had a run glut against Pakistan in the recent two-test series scoring 421 runs with three hundreds since returning to the team after being dropped for the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa.

He put his success there down to a good rest from cricket and pitches he felt comfortable on.

''I think in Pakistan they have the best batting wickets. The wickets are pretty flat and batter friendly and I just needed a slight adjustment from South Africa where the ball bounces more.'' Kallis said South Africa now had a good, balanced side, mixing youth with experienced players. They had also found a fine spinner in Paul Harris and had some handy young fast bowlers coming through.

Kallis backed captain Graeme Smith, saying he had learnt and improved considerably since becoming the country's youngest captain at the age of 22 in 2003.

''He was quite young when he took over. But he is doing a good job and the guys respect him. He will be the first one to say he has learnt from his time. He asks for a lot from the guys and rightly so and when they don't perform he puts his foot down.'' REUTERS BJR RK1802

Story first published: Monday, October 15, 2007, 19:09 [IST]
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