Monday, March 13, 2006

Are South Africans chokers?

Picture: media24
As Chris Roper says, this is the blog "with all of the questions and none of the answers."

Especially after this weekend. How were those Proteas!!! Truly the most amazing one-day cricket match in history.

But what a paradox. Compare this to their failure to drive it home in the third and fourth matches - where they lost their 2-0 advantage to go into the fifth and final match 2-2. Given the final, I'm sure at least one person muttered something about the box-office convenience...

And compare it to the diabolical Stormers, who have squandered commanding positions in three matches to lose. I was still bruised from Saturday night's disaster (final minute Stormers loss to the Hurricanes) when I endured the Australian batting innings in Sunday's match. Well, actually I got some chores done 'cause I couldn't bare to watch. Luckily I thought, I'll just watch the beginning of the SA innings...

When I was at school, we had a British cricket pro who assisted all the coaches with specialist instruction. I remember his departure speech, as he left to return to the UK, "South Africa seems to have unbelievable talent - just a lack of killer instinct."

It was amazing leaving school and playing club rugby. Guys who had been in opposing teams that had whipped us were suddenly team-mates. Combined with the fact that we were the strongest club in the Western Cape, this had an amazing effect on my self belief. First you realise that these guys who seemed invincible were just human. Secondly, you run onto the field with the expectation of winning - losing would be unacceptable, never mind unexpected.

The Sharks have imported Tony Brown. What would the effect of someone like Chris Latham (rated the world's best fullback, but in one of the bottom-placed teams on the Super 14 log) be on a South African team with ability but apparently lacking self-belief - like the Stormers? (Never mind the cringing thought of those Latham post-try celebrations for the moment).

Today newspapers are comparing the Cats under Laurie Mains - Super 12 semi-finalists - to the Cats under anyone else - nowhere men.


kyknoord said...

And if one more person says, "cricket is a funny game", I'm going to do bloody murder.

BUDDESS said...

Cricket is a funny game,don't you reckon? You tempted me Kyknoord and I simply oblidged. No, seriously, it was the best game of cricket ever. The only funny thing about the game was Lewis's bowling. Spare a thought for him.

It is the question said...

KN: The funny thing is how everybody - e-v-e-r-y-b-o-d-y - has become a cricket fan. Actually it's great for the game. Fantastic that we are truly building a national game. Makaya Ntini is the most popular sports star and the team is attracting support from across the divides. Imagine if we have kids on the township streets playing cricket like the kids on the beaches of the West Indies.

B: No thought spared at all. The Aussie public love roasting South Africans. The Aussie team are mostly great sports (witness Ponting's graciousness in defeat).