Ottis ‘Give ’em Hope’ Gibson’s Influence

It may be early to give praise to Gibson, but I just think of how long it would have been until all the young players in the Proteas would have gotten their call-up if still under Domingo.

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Bring in the younger youngsters. Image: sportsnewsonweb.com

Now I personally did not want to speak on the appointment of Gibson as soon as it was announced. I am someone who does always want to see how a person adapts to a position, while they have all the necessary credentials after giving them that little bit of time. Pre-judgements are just not something I do. Hence the delay in my opinion on Gibson’s new position in the Proteas camp. How was he going to stamp his presence in this team? I wanted to wait and see until after the Bangladesh tour, but I couldn’t wait.

His appointment was one that did cause some debate as many did not know how a bowling coach would be anything but great after Russell Domingo was, essentially, given the boot by Cricket South Africa. His release then brought around the debate as to who would take his place. A local coach like Geoffrey Toyana of the bizhub Highveld Lions? Or an international coach like… an Australian? Naturally there were mixed reviews when Gibson landed the job ahead of Toyana who many had thought was a likely possibility.

So here we are.

I am so glad I waited to speak on his inclusion, and that’s because I noticed that there’s a change in attitude. I feel that the team that was booted out of the Champions Trophy that played the annoyingly safe brand of cricket has grown a slight bit of confidence and ruthlessness in their game. Albeit the Proteas are pummelling the daylights out of the out-of-our-comfort-zone Bangladesh side, there have been some performances by the team, and calls by the coach that bring back that essence of hope and depth in the squad.

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Future match winners. Image: alchetron.com

This tour was a great one for Gibson to explore with the upcoming talent that is in the domestic setup in the country. For him to go to a few Sunfoil Series matches really does show that he aims to take the Proteas to greater heights. He has deemed all the tours they play as preparation for the World Cup in 2019. Since his arrival, South Africa has unearthed a long-term prospect in Aiden Markram opening with Dean Elgar in the test side, and a definite choice batsman in ODIs. He still has age on his side as he is still 23. Him being the captain that steered his Under-19 teammates, like Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada and Jason Smith, to World Cup victory makes him a future prospect for a captain once the ‘Over-30 Generation’ in the squad announce their retirement. If you think he is still too young to be considered a captain, remember that he currently captains the Multiply Titans in the domestic competitions, and one former great captain of Graeme Smith was appointed as captain at the age of 22.

Wiaan Mulder is also someone who has impressed Coach Gibson as well, seeing as he made his debut at the expense of Wayne Parnell getting injured. Many think Mulder is too young as well, and I am one of them. However, I can see why Gibson brought him into the squad. He’s to soak up all the experience around him and use it to grow and get better. Honestly, his debut could have gone a lot better than it did, but in him getting a wicket is at least the first step to many more. I believe him, Dwaine Pretorius, and Phehlukwayo are the ones to watch in terms of them being game-changing all-rounders for the Proteas going further.

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Ngidi will definitely make an international comeback. Image: twitter.com

If I am on the same wavelength as Gibson, he should want to bring Lungi Ngidi back into the Proteas eleven once India arrives in the country. He had been off team sheets due to a back injury he sustained with the South Africa ‘A’ squad back in June. Upon his return to domestic cricket, he managed to take 9 wickets bowling for the Titans in the Sunfoil Series. He had made a huge shout for being called up for the Proteas during his stint against Sri Lanka earlier in the 2016 home season until an abdominal injury crept in. Now that he is back, Cricket South Africa has got to manage him well if we are to even get a glimpse of him and Rabada possibly bowling together against India. A bowling line-up consisting of Rabada, Ngidi, Philander, and a Dale Steyn that is 160% fit? Let your imagination run wild with that thought.

 

It may be early to give praise to Gibson, but I just think of how long it would have been until all the young players in the Proteas would have gotten their call-up if still under Domingo. We are set for exploring depth and getting the young guys ready for the day they make the Proteas eleven more frequently.

Big Ben’s Brawl

How is punching someone almost fifteen times a mistake?

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Ben Stokes really stoked everyone’s anger and disappointment. Image: thesun.co.uk

As many people on Twitter do, everyone had something to say about the whole ordeal. Many people are livid about what he’s done, but some are defending him. Now, I’m about to just mention some comments (not the exact tweets, but along these lines) that had me thinking “what?” Let me know if you agree or not.

 

“Everyone makes mistakes. Don’t be so hard on him.”

– How is punching someone almost fifteen times a mistake? A mistake is buying whole-wheat bread instead of plain brown.

“Hey man, men fight.”

РIf so, then he should not be in a place in his life where  everything he does will be put on social media and ruin his reputation. For someone who has been getting into trouble for his anger, he should have known better.

“He was drunk; no wonder he acted the way he did.”

– I’ll come in his defence here and say that he can drink if he wants to. Just don’t act like someone who can’t handle their alcohol.

“It was off the field. It has nothing to do with us.”

– Would things be better if they were on the field? It does have something to do with the fans if it’s caught on camera, or even reported on with significant evidence.

“The guys he hit had a bottle. He was defending himself.”

– This may be because I am a female, but if I saw someone with a bottle coming towards me, I would not fight them. Whether it’s broken or not, it’s still a weapon. Walk away. You don’t need to prove how manly you are when a potential weapon is involved.

These were just some of the comments that I saw online. To be fair, everyone has their opinion on the matter, but sometimes common sense escapes most. From watching the video, he was being held back by the people he was with. Whatever happened, was there a reason to go for fifteen to the guy’s face?

I’ve also read through the Twitter grapevine that Stokes was drinking that night. I will not be that person to say that it was, entirely, the alcohol’s fault. I will say he is within his human right to drink if he wants to, but if he is going to act in an uncivilised fashion, then he has to be dealt with the repercussions. Personally, I am glad he and Hales have been suspended from playing, but why do they still get full pay? Unfortunately, people have to understand that children who look up to them watch and pick up more than you would think from external stimuli. So what do they see when they see two international sports stars causing a ruckus after a night out drinking while still in the middle of a series?

While I was writing this post, Piers Morgan had tweeted saying that he had word from a source that Stokes was standing up for two homosexual men being bothered. If that is true, why did the source wait so long to come forward if they knew a potential saviour was at risk of getting his reputation (or lack thereof) tarnished even further? Why tell, with all respect to him, Piers Morgan of all news people?

He will honestly be very lucky if he does get on that plane to Australia for the Ashes. Ben Stokes really could have controlled the controllables.

Problems with Having Many Players Over 30

We need the selectors to have more faith and more guts in bringing in these young players to play for the country if, Heaven forbid, all our legendary players retire in quick succession.

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These are the greatest, but great doesn’t last forever. Image: zeenews.india.com

Why do South African sports teams have a tendency of fielding a lot of players that are old? This may sound strange, but what I mean is why is South Africa one of the only sports teams to have many players that are older than 30 in the squad? This is not only in cricket; but also in hockey, soccer, rugby, you name it. The SA hockey teams (both men and women) have players that have 190+ caps to their names, while playing overseas in Belgium, Australia or Holland, and are now struggling to find players older than 18 but younger than 25 to play internationally for a good 7-8 years – starting your international career at 18 is still too young, but having many players over 30 in your squad is a problem when they have to retire either voluntarily or through injury. The same can be said about rugby.

If we are to look at cricket specifically, a lot of players in the Proteas have the thought of retirement in their minds, and that’s all good considering how long some have been playing for South Africa. But how many are we talking here? Well, we have Steyn, Amla, du Plessis, de Villiers, Philander, Morkel, Tahir, and Duminy. That’s three players short of a whole squad. Now I understand that these guys bring so much experience into the team, and they have that presence that makes the opposition quake in their boots, but the reality is that they are going to leave international cricket soon (and very soon), and we need players to come in and step up.

Cricket South Africa has had this trend of not bringing in players with the talent into the squad as soon as they can, and will rest key players then give the rookies a chance. Who’s going to guide them going into that series/match? David Miller? Farhaan Behardien? That’s a serious lack of experience. CSA cannot be having players from the domestic side making their debut internationally at 33 when you have a 22 year old opener waiting in the wings. The England T20 squad in the World T20 last year had a young, but extremely experienced side that had players not older than 29, as I heard a commentator say. England is bringing in players (albeit most aren’t even from England) from a young age when they know they will have an impact on the team. Why can’t CSA do the same?

This past series where SA played England was a disaster; having a middle order change multiple times, batting order collapses where bowlers start doing the top 6’s job in digging us out of trouble, bowlers getting no-ball wickets and no-balls in general, and many other catastrophic moments. Having Heino Kuhn debut may have been based on his scores during the SA ‘A’ tour to England, but he failed to produce the goods when needed. Stephen Cook is making a case for himself to be brought back into the Proteas set up, but is it wise for a 34 year old to replace a 33 year old? Majority of the time, it was senior players that played off-key in the series. Many fans think that SA cricket is in trouble when they see the likes of Amla, du Plessis, or Morkel fluff up during a series. We have many other players that are coming through the system, but whenever SA ‘A’ plays one bad match, many are quick to say our cricket is doomed.

We need the selectors to have more faith and more guts in bringing in these young players to play for the country if, Heaven forbid, all our legendary players retire in quick succession.

My pick of players, whether they’ve played for the Proteas or not, in the next two years to watch out for:

  • Khaya Zondo
  • Lungi Ngidi
  • Wiaan Mulder
  • Aiden Markram
  • Reeza Hendricks (consistency is key)
  • Duanne Olivier
  • Andile Phehlukwayo
  • Jason Smith
  • Dane Paterson
  • JJ Smuts (he’s 28 currently, but still has a lot to offer)

I hope CSA realise this soon, and do not wait until it’s too late to bring these guys in and not have to deal with a gaping hole in the starting eleven.

 

Jennings Didn’t Slip Through the System

All I’m saying is that quota targets can be a good thing sometimes: they help actually discover more talent than you thought you had in the cricket setup

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Not an issue that Jennings had decided to pursue greener pastures in England. Image: oddreaders.com

Now before you get the idea that I’m a part of the crowd that thought that Keaton Jennings’ century was fantastic against India and that he was set for life, I actually wasn’t. Unfortunately the Corker Yorker blog did not exist at that time, so no views could have been spoken of when it happened.

I’m genuinely someone who tries to play devil’s advocate when it comes to cricket and players making their debuts or coming back into form. I definitely do not believe that because someone scored 50 off 38 balls in one match after a string of ducks and golden ducks is back to their prime state of form. If they can do that for five innings straight (depending on the format), then they are truly back on form. Feel free to disagree though.

The main focus of this short article is to focus very briefly on Keaton Jennings. As most know, he is the son of Ray Jennings who played first class cricket for South Africa. He had captained the South African U19 team in 2011 on a tour to England. He played his last Gauteng game in South Africa in March 2012. When he arrived a month later, he spent the next four years playing domestically until he got his call up. He made his debut for the England squad in 2016 in India where he scored a century in the first innings and a duck in the second.

There was a tweet by Jacques Kallis discrediting the politics in South Africa which had infiltrated into the cricket, which was draining the talent here. He had also stated that “another one had slipped through the system”. Now, Kallis is a legend, but that statement was a little… strange. Correct me if I’m wrong, but if an opening batsman who only averaged around 35 was handed a cap to play for the country, it would have been deemed more an experiment to see how they would fair internationally rather than for his talent. I would have been very surprised to see Cricket South Africa give Jennings one if he stayed. He was not doing anything spectacular here, so his migration to England is not a real loss for SA cricket. We’re still trying to figure out whether or not AB’s coming back to test cricket, and if Duminy’s test days are done.

This test series has not been an easy one for the opening batsmen – both English and South African batsmen have struggled against the new ball, barring Dean Elgar and Alistair Cook. Jennings, however, has only managed to score into double digits twice in the six innings he’s played, often getting nicked off to the slips. He had no idea where his off-stump is, which makes the bowlers, Philander especially, hungry to cash in on his wicket. It looked like Cook didn’t have any faith in him either, as he refused to rotate the strike in the beginning of the first innings in the third test. It was only when Tom Westley had come to the crease, did these two rotate the strike better.

His previous records internationally are just as poor. He’s only scored one 50 and one century in ten innings, with an average of 25.90 and a strike rate of 44.27. That’s his whole international test career! If anyone in the Proteas team, or any other team for that matter had stats like those, they would have been dropped. Many debutants underestimate the massive change from playing domestically to internationally, and their technique is getting uncovered.

He may have scored 48 in the third test match against in this series, but that means nothing if he cannot follow through in the next game. Internationally, we don’t know what an inform Keaton Jennings is like.

So, I ask you cricket fans in South Africa, or anywhere else in the world: is Jennings really a loss in South African cricket? All I’m saying is that quota targets can be a good thing sometimes: they help actually discover more talent than you thought you had in the cricket setup. Not everyone agrees with the targets, and that’s fine, but don’t go and state that the loss of a mediocre player is someone who has “slipped through the system”.

 

 

 

 

Devil’s Advocate on Player Selection

With the contrasting conditions in international cricket and domestic cricket, it’s easy to perform well in the latter.

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Let’s take time to think of something before discussing nothing. Image: indianexpress.com

As the strangely open-minded person that I am, I’m always having scenarios play in my head about things that could happen if they went which-ever way. That means that I’ll hear someone’s argument to something I totally disagree on and see that their way of thinking can make sense, in a weird way. Sometimes, this can be a disadvantage in having an opinion and not changing it.

Recently, I was having a discussion on Twitter with two people on where Quinton de Kock should bat in the test format. His attacking nature and ability to score runs when needed is one that is extremely valued and appreciated in the Proteas team. Now these tweeps I was conversing with were sure that he should bat at 4 because of his runs-churning way of playing, but I disagreed. He is too valuable of a player to have higher than 6 if the top order has a collapse, and then has no time to rest before going to keep wicket. Who bats, if Quinny is at 7, after him? Philander? If the top six only manages to get 175-6 in the first innings to put up a total, it will be QdK and Vernon trying to rescue the innings, for sure. But what if QdK was batting higher up and Bavuma went out slightly cheaply? Vernon would end up batting with the tail. I was convinced that he should bat higher up, up until this third test match against England. If we are to place him any higher, the highest should be 5 or 6. Him being an attacking player in a spot where you need to grind it out if the opening pair go out is a little too risky, in my opinion. If a collapse happens and he’s part of the top 4, there is a valuable player gone out.

Another thing I’ve seen amongst Twitter fans is how we (yes, I do it too, but I’ve tried not to) say one thing when things are going well about a certain player/players, but call for his/their head when they play appallingly. Now, I will say that I often eat slices of humble pie to feed a family of sextuplets, hence now I try look at things more objectively. One thing I’ve realised, clearer that ever, is that Sunfoil Series (four-day domestic cricket in South Africa) and international cricket are EXTREMELY difficult. And the reason a lot of the players do well there is because the players in that set up are, with all possible respect, are not international level yet which makes them a lot easier to face… especially if they have been playing for a club for a number of years. Hence the problem we face with Heino Kuhn now. He is extremely talented, and many people were calling for him to play in the test squad as far as last year August against New Zealand for the misplaced two-test series in South Africa. Now that he’s in the squad, he isn’t really making an overly amazing impression; there are calls for the young Aiden Markram to replace him. But, what if he too does not live up to our expectations of him and goes out for less than ten if he debuts in the last match of this series? Should he also get dropped because he’s not good enough? If not, should we not take the same approach when looking at Kuhn and be more patient?

The CSA selectors, bless them, are also now in the firing line for the performances of the team. For example; the selection of Chris Morris over Dwaine Pretorius is one that is being talked about often. Personally, I didn’t have any expectation of him in this series because I know how erratic and expensive he can be. Don’t get me wrong; the guy’s got pace and skill and bowls a mean yorker, good with the bat at the back-end of an innings, but he’s too all over the place when bowling, and expensive. And he also selected because of his ability to bat with the tail. In this series, he’s yet to prove it. What the sad thing is, I had a feeling he would perform like this in the series. So I was secretly hoping de Bruyn would come back in the side, as it wasn’t really fair for him to get the chop in that game or this one. It would have been extremely great for Pretorius to play in this tour, but one cannot guarantee for sure that he would have made many dents in the England batting line-up. We’ll never know, sure, but it’s pretty unfair to assume he would and then fans become disappointed with him and say he’s not international standard if he performs below-par. I am a very big fan of Pretorius, but we cannot be sure he would have been selected in the first eleven, let alone a key player in the line up.

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Good in patches, but Morris is not really good for tests. Image: cricbuzz.com

I can understand why CSA would not field more than one debutant in the eleven as opposed to Australia and England. However, what may work for other countries may not work us, too. You want to field your best eleven with players that have faced against tough opposition. With that being said, I get that you would want to see how new players fair in the international circuit, but when I think of that, I think immediately back to the Sri Lanka 3-match T20 series. We gave more than four guys a debut in each team, with Lungi Ngidi being the only permanent prospect to play for South Africa. We lost that series 2-1, and deservedly so. In those games, we had players pay poor shot selection, dropped catches, and missed run-outs. It may not seem like a valid example because of the cries for international T20 series to be scrapped, but it’s still something to think about in terms of selecting many debutants in a match/series. CSA should think a little more in terms of what they want from the team when selecting one, apart from just winning. Do they want to just win to heighten our chances at moving to number 1 in rankings, or do they want that to happen while given guys the experience they need for the future?

This article is not meant to pick and choose a side in the way things are being discussed, but more to say let’s look at both sides of the story before we cast major judgement. If the pros out-weight the cons, then great; if not, then okay.

Get Over Those Players Who Have Taken Kolpak Deals

We need to move on from this, and forget about these players that have left us like a selfish boyfriend in a relationship.

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Can we please stop using Kolpak as an excuse. Image: iol.co.za

This is a subject I have been avoiding with all my might when Kyle Abbott and Rilee Rossouw took their deals with Hampshire earlier this year because it made me absolutely livid as to how these guys just gave up their pride in playing for their country. But personally, these players are dead to me; undeserving of their segment in SA Cricket Magazine’s Saffas Abroad, so this is my saying that I do not like or follow these players anymore. As well as others who have gone the Kolpak route.

One thing that I have noticed with many people who follow South African cricket is that every time the Proteas lose, all blame goes towards the transformation targets as the infamous Kolpak players who are doing well in England. Bar Rossouw (to an extent) and Abbott, the rest of the players who have taken these deals had not been as explosive as they were before their Proteas call-up. First class cricket and international test cricket are two completely different formats in the skill and mentality that is needed to play it. That is something a lot of players, and fans sometimes, do not understand.

Stiaan van Zyl was a specialist opener for South Africa in late 2015 but had scored only one century which was against the West Indies, and ever since then had been not a great batsman internationally, only averaging 26.33. He signed his Kolpak deal late 2016 to play for Sussex for three years. The opener position therefore opened and Stephen Cook took that position… but not for long as his form also dropped. David Wiese: another player who when playing for the Proteas didn’t really make his presence felt like at domestic level. These are just some of the players that have signed Kolpak, but I feel like we’re not really missing these guys in the international setup. Domestically? Maybe. However internationally? It’s questionable. When these players had their shot for the Proteas (I understand you cannot fire from day one, and that is great) but over a period of time, you cannot be having below average performances for the team.

As I said previously, one thing I have noticed particularly amongst SA fans, past players etc is that whenever South Africa performs well in games, there is not one word muttered about transformation or Kolpak players and how they are missed in the winning team. But the minute things go pear-shaped for the Proteas, the obvious blame (not JP or Behardien) goes towards how transformation targets are enabling players to go Kolpak, and that the players in said match that are in the squad are not picked based on merit, and therefore sending SA cricket to the dogs. We know transformation targets and Kolpak signings are a thing, but do not use it as a scapegoat for a team that is in transition with captain debates and possible coach changes.

Kolpak deals have happened, and may still happen. If we keep using this excuse for our lacklustre performances, we will not move forward with the players we have now. If we keep on going on about how we miss Rossouw and Abbott in whatever squad, are we not giving the indication that the squad is extremely incomplete without them in squad? We have played well without both. A squad’s performance should not ever be based off only two players. The deals and targets never get spoken about when we win, so why bring it up when we lose? It’s a similar thing I had said in a previous article, coincidentally about current-Kolpaker Kyle Abbott, that if he was in the squad for SA vs New Zealand in the semi final of the Cricket World Cup in 2015 we would have won. No one knows if we would have won, and there is nothing we can do. And I really do understand that these two were extremely talented prospects for our team, but they’ve made their decision, and are gone forever. We need to move on from this, and forget about these players that have left us like a selfish boyfriend in a relationship. Let’s focus on what we still have.

South Africa Is Not the Only Team that Chokes

If India or England were in the same position, would it still be considered a choke? Or a poor display of skill?

Naturally, one would say: “yes, of course they are” Or even: “they have been choking for the past 18-odd years”. Personally, I despise using this word, but merely classifying the Proteas losing in any game as a choke annoys me. You cannot lose a match you were never going to win. For many people whom I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with on Twitter, a common understanding of the word ‘choking’ means to be in a winning positing in a match, but you lose after being inches away from victory. A perfect example is the chance South Africa had in the 1999 World Cup against Australia to advance to the final. However, a disaster of a run out between Lance Klusener and Allan Donald saw the last South African wicket fall resulting in the match ending in a draw. Australia advanced ahead of South Africa because of a higher net run-rate.

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Always so close, but so far away. Image from: youtube.com

 

Heartbreaking? Extremely. But this is not the only example of choking the Proteas have had in their time playing against international teams.

They recently played a three-match ODI series against England in which they lost 2-1: the first ODI series loss since the end of 2015 when they managed to beat India 3-2 in their conditions. The team had lost the first match by a heavy 72 runs, placing England a step higher than South Africa. The second ODI was a choke. I recall the commentator in that match stating that it was truly the Proteas’ game to lose. The last over saw them need seven more runs to win. A boundary would have swung things in their favour. Big hitters in Chris Morris and David Miller could not muster up a last dose of economy-raising batting to prevent a series victory for the English. In the end, England won by two runs and won the series.

I am not debating that South Africa don’t let the pressure get to them when it matters and they are in a winning position, but why is the term ‘choking’ only used whenever they lose? Is it because of the numerous chances they have had to get to the final and add more silverware to their cabinet?

Watching highlights of the matches from rain-speckled Champions Trophy this year, there were many teams that choked in games, but it was classified as the underdogs winning, or that the bowling and/or batting were not working together. Looking at the teams in Group A, New Zealand choked against Bangladesh which effectively knocked them out of the tournament. Four early wickets, including the wicket of Tamim Iqbal pushed the Kiwis forward to victory. Thanks to fabulous batting by Mahmudullah and Shakib Al Hasan saw them win by five wickets. Tim Southee, Adam Milne and Trent Boult being the main wicket-takers for their squad, taking three wickets each in the tournament, failed to defend 265 which is an above average score at Sophia Gardens.

Australia, technically, choked twice: first against New Zealand, and second against England. Their first game saw the match being abandoned due to the weather; however it was Australia who were the grateful ones as they were reeling at 53-3 when the floodgates opened with their two openers and Captain Steve Smith out. Although Australia had an unfortunate time in the tournament with two of their games being rained out, and one affected by rain in a losing cause, one would think that they would play their hardest against old foes England to qualify for the semi-finals. After a slightly questionable batting display saw them put up 277-9, it showed how much the Baggy Greens rely on Smith, Warner, and Finch to make runs. After those three went out, Travis Head failed to have a partner take the team over 300 as middle and lower order wickets fell just like the English rain. When they were bowling, Starc and Hazelwood put England on the back foot, claiming three wickets including that of their in-form batsman Joe Root. Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes managed to chase the Duckworth Lewis score and had England win by 40 runs, having Australia kicked out without winning a single game. The Aussie bowlers failed to capitalise on the three wickets they had early in the innings, especially with the undecided weather lurking around the ground.

Another incident of a team choking came a day after South Africa’s disastrous performance against India, with the winner of the Sri Lanka and Pakistan game going against England in the semi-finals. Sri Lanka had batted first and felt the wrath of the Pakistan bowling attack, as they succumbed to 236. Into the batting innings, the match was really one that could have gone either way, but Sri Lanka were favourites to win as they needed three more wickets to qualify and play against the hosting country. Dropped catches were aplenty as Pakistan managed to chase down 237 with three wickets to spare. Again, the Lankans had failed to work on the chances presented to them in order to win the game, but not one media publication called that losing game a choke.

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Hasan Ali: Chief destroyer in the Pakistan bowling unit. Image from: hindustantimes.com

Why is that dreaded word only applicable to when South Africa loses any game, regardless of whether or not they would have lost? Most newspaper headlines in Australia, England, and pretty much anywhere else in the cricketing world slammed the ‘choker’ tag and ‘South Africa’ in the same line. But the fact of the matter is that South Africa were never going to win against India by their terrible shot selection and senseless run-outs which gave their bowlers nothing to defend against a great Indian batting line up. As I stated earlier: you cannot choke in a match you were never going to win. But I will end with this scenario: if a match between Australia and South Africa were to take place, and the Aussies needing three runs off two balls to win a semi-final. If their batsmen failed to get the three runs needed, lost two wickets in quick succession and lost, what would that be called? We know it would be called choking if it was South Africa batting for a win, but what would be called if it was Australia? Poor play on shot selection? Unfortunate? Mediocre play?

Now I’ll ask again: Is South Africa the only team that chokes?