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Arthur confident Kallis will score big against Australia

February 24, 2009 14:52 IST

Jacques Kallis is bursting to score big against Australia and end his batting slump in the Test series starting in Johannesburg on Thursday, according to South African coach Mickey Arthur.

South Africa's leading run-scorer is just 12 runs away from becoming the eighth batsman to score 10,000 Test runs but his recent form has been his least lethal since he was first starting out on his international career 13 years ago.

He scored his last century 17 innings ago, against India in Ahmedabad in April 2008.

Arthur said the 33-year-old was looking threatening in the nets, however.

"Jacques had some starts in Australia and I can't wait for him to kick on to a big score," he told reporters in Centurion on Monday.

"I think he is just bursting for a big one and he is showing signs of really good form in the nets. He's too good a player not to make a big score soon."

Arthur said Kallis was also a top-class bowler and had made up for his dip in batting form with some masterly bowling performances.

"You also have to remember the amount of work he's done with the ball and his value as a holding bowler, you could never replace that," he said. "We've only lost a small bit from his batting and he's made up for that with the ball."

The coach said Australia would be taking a big risk if they choose four specialist seam bowlers and two part-time spinners in Marcus North and Michael Clarke for the first Test, as has been suggested.

"It's a high-risk strategy, but let them do the worrying about that," said Arthur.

"In the past they had Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath, who could both strike and stop the game. Their biggest issue now is who can stop the game for them, who can kill off the runs? We had Kallis and Paul Harris to stop them scoring in Australia."

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