Kallis ready for UAE tour after 'recharging'

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South Africa all-rounder Jacques Kallis says he is fit and ready to go ahead of the tour to the United Arab Emirates to face Pakistan next month, saying the long break he's been on has revitalised him.

South Africa all-rounder Jacques Kallis says he is fit and ready to go ahead of the tour to the United Arab Emirates to face Pakistan next month, saying the long break he's been on has revitalised him.

Kallis, who has played 162 Tests and 321 ODIs for the Proteas, declined to play in the Champions Trophy in England in June, and last played for the national side in February, against Pakistan in Cape Town.

But now he feels ready for action again, and is part of the Test squad to go to the UAE. He is not part of the ODI squad though, which could thwart his plans to be part of the 2015 World Cup squad.

Kallis told Sport24: "I needed to completely get away from the game a bit, and actually to live life. That's made it an unbelievable couple of months; I haven't watched any cricket, followed any cricket.

"I've got away and done other things I loved; recharged the batteries. It's the best thing I could ever have done, I think. It was a tough decision, especially missing the Champions Trophy, but I felt it was in my best interests moving forward at this stage of my career."

Given his age, at nearly 37, Kallis was asked if he felt like each match could be his last, and thus felt like a special occasion. He replied: "Yes, I suppose it is that.

"Coming to the end of my career, it makes you appreciate more every game you do play. Each one could be the last, I've always said the day I wake up knowing I'm not enjoying cricket any more, I will quit.

"It's also nice to see the enthusiasm of some youngsters who come in during your (absence); a reminder of just what it means to play for your country. Not that you forget yourself!

"I've had the break, and can feel my own enthusiasm back again. I have put in a lot of time in the gym to try to get through the next year and a half.

"I believe that if I don't make it to the next World Cup (in 2015) it will be more from a mental than bodily point of view, and I have at least had that mental time out now with a view to sustaining myself on both fronts."

Kallis then said he was prepared to bowl as many overs as required in the UAE, though he expected the spinners to do the bulk of the work in the two Tests, given the dry and turning conditions.

He added: "I have no doubt it's going to spin, and that there will be a good chance we go in with two specialist spinners (Robin Peterson and Imran Tahir). So I am prepared for putting in the overs.

"I've put in the work; time with the ball and in the gym. I think it will still be a case of me delivering not more than 10 or 15 overs a day if required, and you can work around that, especially in those conditions, so there's every possibility I can do that, yes."

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