South Africa must work on choking problem: Kirsten

October 7th, 2011 - 3:06 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 7 (IANS) South Africa coach Gary Kirsten feels they need to work on a strategy to overcome the team’s long standing problem of choking in crunch matches.

South Africa have been struggling to shake off the ‘chokers’ tag, which they earned over a decade, since the 1999 World Cup semifinal tie against Australia.

“You need to have some sort of a strategy around it,” Kirsten, named the coach in June, was quoted as saying in espncricinfo.

“You can’t just be na├»ve to think it’s not a problem and doesn’t exist. There’s been a bit of scarring there, and it’s been going on for a long time.

“But then you need to think cleverly and think smart about how you manage that issue. I think it is something we’ll focus on when we get to those events and work out ways in which we can strategise to cross the line.”

The Proteas have given away matches from winning positions including in World Cup earlier this year when they went down to New Zealand in the quarter-final.

Kirsten, who had a successful stint with India that culminated in a World Cup victory, believes South African has the potential to be at the top in world cricket.

“We all believe that we’re a good enough cricket team to be at the top of the pile,” he said.

“That’s where we’re wanting to head. We’ve got to achieve some good results along the way, make sure that we’re competitive in every series we play.

“There’s no doubt there’s enough skill and ability in the team to vie for a position at the top of world cricket.”

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