England's World Cup and Ashes hero Stokes backed to emulate South Africa legend

Moeen Ali rates Jacques Kallis as the greatest all-rounder in history but says his England team-mate Ben Stokes is capable of emulating the South Africa legend.

Kallis amassed over 25,000 runs and 577 wickets in an extraordinary international career that spanned almost two decades.

The South African, who scored 62 centuries for his country, is widely considered one of the best all-rounders in the history of the game.

England star Stokes is rated as the best all-rounder currently playing, with his tally of 7,000 runs and 231 wickets already putting his alongside the country’s great players.

Last summer, Stokes’ heroics helped England win their first men’s 50-over World Cup and deny Australia victory in the Ashes.

Asked during a Guardian Q&A who he rates as the better all-rounder out of Kallis and Stokes, Moeen said: ‘It’s a tough one.

‘You’d probably have to go Kallis as it stands because his body of work is so much bigger: more runs, wickets, catches etc.

‘But if Stokesy carries on like he is he will become one of the greatest players to ever play the game. No doubt.’

Stokes has been tipped to establish himself as England’s greatest-ever all-rounder but former caption Nasser Hussain believes that, for the time being at least, Sir Ian Botham is still out in front.

He told MailSport: ‘Ian Botham is the greatest cricketer to have played for England.

‘Ben Stokes may end up taking over by the end of his career if he carries on the way he has done but Beefy is No 1 for the extraordinary things he did.’

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