A lot has been made of choking in the blogging community (not on this blog) after South Africa’s defeat to England last Sunday and England’s defeat to Bangladesh on Thursday.
Here is my take on choking, I hope it makes some sense.
First England choked against India, then India choked against England, then Ireland choked against Bangladesh, then England choked against Ireland, then South Africa choked against England. Is everyone keeping up?
Then it starts to get really confusing as Bangladesh choked against England but still won.
Then yesterday India choked against South Africa, South Africa choked against India and India again choked against South Africa.
So in summary, it would appear that everyone chokes against each other, so who the hell are the real chokers?
Even Graeme Smith is getting involved, claiming that he hopes the win over India finally rids them of their ‘chokers’ tag.
To claim England chocked against Bangladesh though is laughable.
Choking in my view is losing your nerve in sight of the finish line in a big match of importance.
Jimmy White’s missed black in 1994, Greg Norman in the 1996 US Masters, Jean Van de Velde in the 1999 Open Championship, South Africa in the 1999 World Cup, maybe even England in the 1987 World Cup final, etc.
Did Strauss and his men really start to panic that they might lose after they claimed the 8th Bangladesh wicket with still over 50 runs needed? Did England really bottle it in that situation?
Or is it more likely that they were walking around the outfield in the belief that the last 2 wickets would be a formality, thinking that the job was done and we can now relax ahead of the meaningless West Indies game?
I’ve been following England for long enough to know what happened.