‘There’s nothing even remotely close to a choke…’: South Africa coach Rob Walter after semi-final defeat | Cricket News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: South Africa‘s cricket coach, Rob Walter, vehemently dismissed suggestions that his team succumbed to World Cup semi-final nerves in their gripping three-wicket loss to Australia. Walter insisted that it “was nothing even remotely close to a choke” as the Proteas faced a challenging situation right from the start.
Electing to bat first, South Africa found themselves in trouble at 24-4 before a resilient century from David Millerlifted them to a total of 212 all out at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens.Despite a valiant effort from the bowlers, Australia managed to chase down the target with 16 balls to spare.

This marked South Africa’s fifth defeat in a World Cup semi-final and their third against Australia, following similar outcomes in 1999 and 2007.

Walter, addressing the media, challenged the notion of a “choke,” stating, “You need to define what a choke is. For me, a choke is losing a game that you’re in a position to win. In this instance, we were behind the eight ball right from the word go, and we actually fought our way back into the competition and put up a score that gave us a chance.”
He emphasised the team’s resilience, saying, “Then they got off to a flyer, and we fought, and we put ourselves back into the game… so for me, there’s nothing even remotely close to a choke that happened out there today. It’s a serious contest between two good teams.”

South Africa have earned a reputation for “choking” in crucial matches, with notable instances in 1999, 2007, and 2015. However, Walter pointed out that the circumstances of this semi-final were different, highlighting the team’s fightback.
Despite the semi-final setback, South Africa showcased impressive cricket in the group phase, winning seven out of nine matches. One of their notable victories included a convincing performance against Australia in Lucknow, where they piled up 311/7 and bowled out their rivals for just 177, securing a 134-run victory. In another remarkable feat, they set a World Cup record by scoring 428/5 in a win against Sri Lanka.

ICC World Cup: Australia beat South Africa by 3 wickets in second semifinal to set up title clash with India

(With inputs from AFP)

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