NEW DELHI, Feb 9: India deserve the "tag of chokers" more than South Africa after suffering a pair of humilating defeats against Australia in the one-day series, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar said on Monday.

Gavaskar lashed out at the fragile Indian batting in the big matches, saying it was "ordinary and unedifying". "The tag of 'chokers in crunch matches' now belongs to them (India) and not South Africa, who had monopolised it for a long time now," Gavaskar wrote in the Hindustan Times.

South Africa earned the dubious tag after losing a few big games from a winning position under pressure, including the 1999 World Cup semifinal in England against Steve Waugh's Australians.

"India's top order had been softened in Perth and had not recovered at all," Gavaskar said, referring to the team's defeat against Australia in a league match on a fast and bouncy track.

"More than the defeat, it was India's meek surrender (in the finals) that would have disappointed their supporters and followers. "Losing to the world champions is no bad thing, but the way the Indian team capitulated is what is so depressing."

India had silenced their critics by drawing a four-Test series 1-1 before floundering in the one-day tournament on their long tour of Australia. Former Australian captain Ian Chappell said the mental toughness was the key to the hosts' success in the one-day finals.

"In the end it was the Australians who remained mentally strong through the summer and the Indians wilted," he wrote in the daily. "The Aussies will be hoping this final hammering has a lasting affect on India considering the next contest is on their turf." Australia will tour India in September-October for four Test matches.

I remember some weeks ago he was saying india are the best in world. What are your views.