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Kallis yet to prove fitness for Test

By Greg Buckle 23/12/2005 05:00:49 PM Comments (0)

South Africa's star all-rounder Jacques Kallis is yet to recover from an elbow injury but says he is confident he will be fully fit for the Melbourne Boxing Day Test against Australia.

The world No.1-ranked batsman says he has had some throw-downs in the nets and plans to have two full training sessions on Saturday and Sunday in preparation for the second Test.

"I had my first sort of full-blooded throw-downs today and it's coming along," Kallis said at the MCG.

"Hopefully I'll have a bat tomorrow and the next day. I'm pretty confident that I'll be 100 per cent fit.

"It's just when I pick the bat up, it's a sharp pain. But in the last few days I haven't picked up a bat."

Kallis also says the tourists will go into the match with a lot of confidence after managing to bat out four sessions to draw the first Test at the WACA.

He says Australian captain Ricky Ponting's delayed declaration on the fourth day's play did help the touring side draw the match and Kallis hopes the press criticism the skipper has been receiving this week will work to South Africa's favour.

"It (drawing the game) does give the guys a lot of confidence going into the next few Test matches," Kallis said.

"We know they'll bounce back. The (Perth) wicket was pretty flat.

"I don't think Australia have had too much criticism over the last while.

"Hopefully that will play into our hands.

"It probably wasn't a bad declaration. It probably did help us that he delayed it so long but you can't read too much into it."

Kallis made his maiden Test century on the MCG eight years ago to save a match for his country and a 99 there four years later and says the ground holds special memories for him.

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