T20, Proteas and choking

2012-10-01 14:50
AB de Villiers, Gary Kirsten (Gallo Imgaes)
The Australians were hoping for two things before the match started: that Richard Levi would open and that AB would bat down the order. Their Levi wish came true, and they responded by opening their attack with spin, and so predictably got their man. Once again, our top order could not cope with the pressure and played the wrong shots, or the right shots too early and the Proteas got an absolute hiding.

I wonder if we don't hype up our own abilities too much, and in that way pay too little respect to our opponents? Or is the team leadership just too nice? For example, after the Pakistan game, AB de Villiers astonishingly said in an interview that he was 'proud about how the boys played.' How can you be proud about losing a crucial game like that by leaking a deluge of runs in the last three overs through very poor bowling when it really counted? Proud that the spinners, who had controlled the run rate superbly, were ignored at the death? Proud that this was the game we could not afford to lose?

Until the Proteas develop that genuine grit and focus of champions, we will always be pretenders.

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