Boucher doesn't want Kallis successor rushed

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Former wicketkeeper-batsman Mark Boucher has conceded South Africa will face a particularly tough task in finding a successor to veteran all-rounder Jacques Kallis.

Former wicketkeeper-batsman Mark Boucher has conceded South Africa will face a particularly tough task in finding a successor to veteran all-rounder Jacques Kallis.

Kallis will retire from Test match cricket at the conclusion of the ongoing series decider against India at Kingsmead in Durban, ending a prolific 166-match career accrued across almost 20 years.

While the stalwart Kallis will remain available for the ODI and Twenty20 International teams, his absence in the Test unit will require an appropriate successor next year.

All-rounder Ryan McLaren, who has earned one cap, is the favourite to assume the berth for 2014's series against the touring Australians – although considerably lower in the batting order than Kallis' preferred position at four.

"South Africa are going to feel a big loss when Kallis goes. Hopefully someone will fill the gap, but that is going to take time. Whoever is going to come in for Jacques has a big role to play, as a batsman, as a bowler, but it is going to take time to find that player," said Boucher.

"Jacques has an unbelievable cricketing brain. It really is fantastic, and that is how it should be after such a long time playing international cricket. He is just quietly confident in his own ability and in the ability of the team. In batting orders that were not always very strong, he has been our rock throughout."

The 38-year-old Kallis was afforded a guard of honour by the Indian XI on day three of the second and final Test match on Saturday, later moving to a characteristically confident half-century, as the Proteas pursued a strong response to the opposition's 334 all out.

"You sort of know it is going to happen, and a lot of other sides would have done the same thing. Jacques would have felt honoured. When sides, especially great sides like India, do that for you, it's an absolute honour," added Boucher.

"We've seen in recent months, or a year or so, him being compared to some of world cricket's greatest players ever – and I would not say he has been taken for granted. But maybe his performances have been taken for granted."

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