South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis has admitted that the pressure of being one of the poorest performers in the inaugural Indian Premier League (IPL) in India last year drove him to do well in the second edition at home.
Acknowledging that there was pressure to make up for last year's flop performance, Kallis told the Afrikaans weekly Rapport: "That was why I decided to pay so much attention to it and to work so hard at improving my game."
"I believe that every player feels the pressure when there is a high price put on your head and it is there for all to see. Then you have to go come out and show your mettle."
Kallis is South Africa's foremost performer in the IPL so far, with 230 runs from eight matches, including two half centuries and his highest being an unbeaten 69.
Kallis has more than doubled his average to 36.66 after disappointing the Bangalore Royal Challengers last year with an average of 18 for the $900,000 that they paid for him.
"I worked really hard during the past few months with (South African coach) Mickey Arthur and (batting consultant and former English coach) Duncan Fletcher to improve my strike rate in Twenty20," Kallis said.
The all-rounder added that he was looking forward to play in this format for the first time for South Africa in next month's Twenty20 World Cup in England.