If we want to add to the list of South African chokes, we might as well look at their Test record since beating Australia in Australia and having a chase to climb the mountain to number 1:
vs Australia (h) - L 1-2
vs England (h) - D 1-1 (failed to close out 2 Tests and had to win the last to salvage the series)
vs India (a) - D 1-1 (blew a 1-0 lead)
vs West Indies (a) - W 2-0
vs Pakistan (n) - D 0-0 (cost themselves a Test with a defensive declaration)
vs India (h) - D 1-1 (blew a 1-0 lead)
However, they must be annoyed that they cannot seem to put India away after taking the series lead against them every time in recent series. Very irritating when that happens, especially at home. Overall, they haven't really built on that excellent year they enjoyed in 2008.
Don't think you can call 1-1 in SA against India a choke. The first match, SA annihilated us, agreed. But it was not like their lack of mental strength cost them the series. India just bowled superbly in the second game and Laxman played the Innings of the year to win the match.
The third game was pretty evenly matched, IMO. If anything It was a bit of a 'choke' for Dhoni to let SA off and not attack full-on when SA had Kallis and Boucher in before 100 in the third Innings. Sure, Smith could've declared 10 overs early on the fourth day but don't think even that was an obvious error tbh.
The aforementioned two facing off for 1-1 in India was even less of a choke. SA murdered India in the first test and India returned the favour in the second. Both games were won by an Innings. While one might say SA were a couple of overs away from drawing and winning in India, It's easy to forget that an entire day was rained off and the game competitively, had no business reaching the end of the fifth day.
India are deservedly the number 1 side in the world because they've been beating everyone and rescuing series that they have no right rescuing. South Africa at the end of 2009 had a glorious chance to really cement their push for number 1, and instead have spent the last 2 years losing and drawing series. That's what I mean when I'm referring to it as a choke - not that they necessarily choked in any individual series, but have found ways not to win series they should have won when a great side would have done the opposite.
Maybe instead of using the "c" word, I should have held it up as an example of their mental fragility.
"we use the word Day to describe hours and movements of the earth around the sun" - zorax
The Cricket Web Podcast - episode 22 out now
We're on iTunes - why not give us a review?
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)