He was the only cricketer to have scored more than 11000 runs and take 250 wickets in both One Day Internationals (ODIs) and test cricket.
Kallis, a product of Wynberg Boys High, made his debut for Western Province in 1993/1994.
Described by Ravi Shastri, a former Indian all-rounder and TV-commentator, as the greatest cricketer in the world since 2000, there was consensus amongst former players that he is one of the elite amongst the modern great players.
Kallis was named leading cricketer in the world in the 2008 Wisden for his performances in 2007, in addition to being the ICC test players of the year and ICC player of the year in 2005.
In his 166th and final test appearance, Kallis scored his 45th century at Kingsmead in December 2013 and left the scene with 13 289 runs at an average of 55.37.
He also captured 292 wickets. Kallis was known for his ability to bowl a nasty bouncer and to nip out wickets to break stubborn partnerships. Fast medium and with the ability to move the ball off the seam, Kallis could also swing the ball beautifully.
He took six for 54 in the fourth test at Headingley in Leeds to power South Africa to an emphatic victory against England in 2003, and finished with nine for 92.
When Kallis started his career against England in 1995, he initially struggled to make a mark.
His breakthrough-innings came against Pakistan in 1997 when he scored a composed 61.
Arguably one of his greatest performances came at Melbourne in 1997 when Shane Warne had the South African top- and middle-order in disarray, but Kallis held firm to score his first century and forced a draw at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Kallis is one of only four players in the history of test cricket to make a century in five consecutive matches (in 2003/2004). The big all-rounder also scored five centuries in four tests in 2007, making him just the fourth player after Bradman, Ken Barrington and Matthew Hayden to score four centuries in four tests on two different occasions.
His powers of concentration, excellent technique and unflappable temperament were features of his batting expertise.
Some critics said the all-time great did not always change the tempo of the game and counter-attacked with the flair that he was possibly capable of.
But, then, Kallis batted a major part of his career in a flawed South African top-order that suffered alarming collapses.
During the final seven years of his career, Kallis played with greater aggression and attacking intent.
A classic example of this style of batting, was in the first test at the WACA in 2008 when Kallis scored 57 off 106 balls and played a pivotal role in setting up a historic 414 for four in South Africa’s win.
The all-rounder scored an unbeaten 182 in the first test against England at the Oval in 2012 and featured in a splendid 377-run partnership for the third wicket with Hashim Amla.
Kallis is the only man to score over 10,000 runs and to take over 280 wickets in Test cricket. Sir Garfield Sobers managed over 8,000 runs and 200 wickets by comparison, at very similar averages.
As a slip fielder, Kallis spent much of his career at second slip, where he seldom faltered. In fact, he pulled off 200 test catches, which add to his lure as a three-in-one cricketer.