The news about Kallis’ retirement was broken to Gavaskar at the airport as he headed straight to the ground to record a programme for the South African Broadcasting Corporation.
“I am really surprised that Kallis will not play after the Durban Test. He scored 34 runs in the second innings of the previous Test in Johannesburg and looked in fine touch,” said Gavaskar, who has followed Kallis’ career from the commentary box.
He said the Proteas will miss him and it will not be easy for anyone to take Kallis’ place in the XI. “He excelled with the bat and ball and it will be difficult to find a player like him.” Kallis has taken 292 wickets and 199 catches in Tests and Gavaskar hoped he could take another eight wickets to reach the 300 mark, as well as one catch to complete the double hundred. He was also disappointed that Kallis along with Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar have retired in the same year.