Lance Klusener hopes coach Kirsten will be able to replicate India's success and help SA get rid of the chokers' tag
South Africa and the chokers tag go hand-in-hand. It's their history of fumbling in big matches that has led to critics labelling them. Like the tied matches against Australia (in 1999 World Cup semis) and Sri Lanka (in 2003 World Cup) or the semi-final loss to Australia in the 2007 World Cup. Their batting again choked in the last World Cup when they failed to chase a modest total of 221 against New Zealand in the third quarter-final at Dhaka.
Lance Klusener. Pic/Suresh KK
However, with India's 2011 World Cup-winning coach Gary Kirsten now in the scheme of things for the South Africa team, their foremost aim will be to shed the chokers tag. The recent Cape Town Test is one of the positives ever since the former SA opener took over. Former South African all-rounder Lance Klusener believes the chokers tag can be ripped off once they win an ICC tournament.
"Look, whoever invented the chokers' tag, did a great job of things. There are a lot of other teams around the world that have lost important games. New Zealand Rugby teams were considered chokers too until they won the World Cup. It's an unfortunate tag to have but the reality is the tag will hang around till we win an ICC Trophy.
"But with Gary Kirsten and Alan Donald (bowling coach) there, I think we have the best coaching staff with us right now. It's nice to have Gary with us. He knows the road. We won't lose that stupid tag until we win the World Cup. Hopefully, we can give the tag to somebody else," said Klusener, who won the man of the match award during the exhibition match played in the wild between Indian and South African legends here on Tuesday.
The event was organised by Beyond Boundaries. Former South African batsman Peter Kirtsen told MiD DAY that his half-brother Gary, currently the coach of Proteas team, will help them get rid of the chokers tag. "If Gary could put together the great Indian team in winning the World Cup, I am sure he can do the same with our team. But that is a process and it will take some time to build the South African team to win the World Cup. I am sure every South African cricketer wants to get rid of that chokers tag. I am sure, with Gary and Alan, they can do it," Kirsten told MiD DAY.
Winners in the wild...
* Mike Procter: Winning captain
* Kapil Dev: Fiery sixes award
* Roger and Synthia Binny:
I love South Africa award