South Africa might be known as perennial chokers in major ICC tournaments, but leg spinner Imran Tahir feels it's a huge achievement for them to make the semifinals of mega events consistently.
The formidable Proteas have often being ridiculed as the perennial chokers of international cricket, having failed to win a world title since their return from apartheid-era ban in 1990, despite making it to the semifinals on a regular basis.
"I think I feel good as a South African player that people say that we always get into semifinal and lose...this is one of the biggest achievements to get into semifinal. Not many teams do that. For me it's a real achievement," Tahir told reporters after the team's practice session at the Brabourne stadium here today.
Tahir said that his team was looking to take it one game at a time in the World Twenty20. "We are looking at every game and take it from there. We work hard and we will get the results," he said. South Africa have been doing well in the shortest format of the game, having won eight out of 12 matches and Tahir said they would look to continue the good work.
"We have been playing good T20 cricket, we have won eight out of 12 games. Hopefully, we are going to do well in the World Cup," said the bowler. The 36-year-old said the Proteas will have an advantage going into the World T20, as they had a successful tour of India late last year.
"(The tour) was a big help for us. We played here, so we know the conditions a little bit better. We come here (to India) for the World Cup so we (are) quite lucky the tour went well and we won. So that confidence we will bring into the World Cup," he said.
On approaching events like World T20, Tahir said, "Look it is an absolute honour to play for your country at the world event. It gives an extra boost. It is extra special. I think there is noting extra on my mind, just another game for me. If I get the opportunity, (I will) play well and give my 200 per cent."
Tahir believes that leg spinners gets blamed more and they must have bigger hearts. "Look leg spinners can change the game. The off spinners' job is to contain, for me leg spinners need to have a bigger heart than anyone else because it is easy to blame them. Nowadays cricket has changed. Obviously the bats are bigger, boundaries are shorter."