Kallis ended his Test career on 13,289 runs from 166 Tests, only behind Tendulkar (15,921) and Ponting (13,378) in the all-time list. (Getty Images)
New Delhi: Indian cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar on Tuesday paid tribute to just-retired South African allrounder Jacques Kallis, calling him a "true champion" who always played the game in the right spirit.
"@jacqueskallis75 Congratulations on a fabulous career. You have played the game in the right spirit....It's been a joy to have played against you. Jacques you are a true Champion. Retired life isn't so bad :-))," Tendulkar, who called time on his own career in international cricket last month, tweeted.
Kallis, one of the greatest allrounders of the game, bid adieu to Test cricket after an illustrious 18-year career in a fairytale script as he hit a century in his swansong match in South Africa's 10-wicket thrashing of India in Durban.
The script for Kallis' Test retirement could not have been better as he ended his career as the third highest run- getter in the longest format of the game, besides also bowing out with a win by his side.
The 38-year-old 'King' Kallis ended his Test career on 13,289 runs from 166 Tests, only behind Tendulkar (15,921) and Ricky Ponting (13,378) in the all-time list.
His batting average stood at an outstanding 55.37. He also took 292 wickets and 200 catches. His 45 tons in Test cricket is only second to Tendulkar's 51.
Kallis will continue to play in the one-dayers and he has so far scored 11,574 runs from 325 ODI matches and has taken 273 wickets at an average of 31.79.
The burly South African made his Test debut against England here in December 1995.