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Can South Africa lose Chokers tag?

I wrote on Thursday about South Africa’s previous when it comes to choking. I’m not saying this was a team choke, although I’m sure many would say that it was – given they had Pakistan at 76/6 after 14.3 Overs, needing 58 runs from 33 balls.

For me Morne Morkal definitely choked. With just 5 balls of the innings left and Pakistan needing 9 runs to win, one of the world’s most feared, respected and (apparently) reliable bowlers – Morne Morkal – bowls a shocking full toss that just asks to be hit out of the ground.

It was unbelievable, how on earth can AB deVilliers cater for that? The simple answer is, he can’t. He had Jacques Kallis with overs up his sleeve, a man with ice running through his veins, but can anyone honestly say that they would have given the ball to Kallis when you have a premier new ball front line bowler at their disposal?

I know I couldn’t, and if Kallis had bowled and South Africa lost, AB would have got the blame – and no doubt called a choker.

The simple fact of the matter now is that until South Africa win one of these or a 50 Over World Cup, they will keep this chokers tag.

In cricket betting, that defeat has seen South Africa drift out from 4/1 joint favourites to 7/1 or 8/1 with online bookmakers in general. I still wouldn’t write them off, no one can tell me guys like Amla, de Villiers, Kallis and Steyn are chokers or losers, etc, as they are not.

And after all, they are probably the best all round cricket team in the world, so underestimate them at your peril.

England are in from 16/1, to 9/1 after yesterday’s win over New Zealand, I’m still not convinced I’m afraid. Great knock by Luke Wright, I believe he has worked hard on his batting from what I have read and fair play to him, I wish a few more would adopt that attitude a bit more.

But at the same time, I’m not convinced by him on a typical Asian dust bowl against their spinners, but what English (qualified) batsman can play those bowlers in those conditions? So it is unfair to single Wright out there.

At least his innings keeps England in with a chance, and that’s all England could do yesterday.

Saturday’s second game was a bit of a surprise to me. West Indies were a favourite of mine leading into this competition, so I was surprised to see them take such a hammering.

The competition is weird at the moment. With results like India thrashing England and Sri Lanka thrashing West Indies, you could be forgiven for thinking that it will be an Asian side that wins in Asian conditions. But the Australia thrashing of India wrecks that theory.

Will be an interesting day on Sunday, South Africa will no doubt be feeling the pressure against Australia, it will be a chance to try and shed the chokers tag. And then there is a quiet insignificant game on after that.

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