Home Sport Cricket Proteas’ Jansen says ‘chokers’ tag is out the window for the team

Proteas’ Jansen says ‘chokers’ tag is out the window for the team

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With the narrow three-wicket victory over the West Indies on Monday, South Africa have now won six consecutive close encounters as they march forward to the semi-finals this week.

Sri Lanka’s Nuwan Thushara (left) is run out by South Africa’s Marco Jansen during the ICC men’s Twenty20 World Cup 2024 group D cricket match at Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in East Meadow, New York on June 3, 2024. Picture: TIMOTHY A CLARY, AFP

THE PROTEAS seem to have taken a leaf from the Springboks 2023 Rugby World Cup journey.

Just like how the Springboks won three knockout matches by one point on their way to defending their world title, the Proteas have achieved a similar feat at the ongoing T20 World Cup in the Caribbean.

With the narrow three-wicket victory over the West Indies on Monday, South Africa have now won six consecutive close encounters as they march forward to the semi-finals this week.

It has been ecstasy for the fans in South Africa, but the same can’t be said for the players involved and the coaching staff behind them.

This World Cup has been unique in that the players have been able to remain calm in pressure moments and emerge victorious, whereas in the past pressure drove Proteas players into their shells.

As a result, the side earned themselves the ‘chokers’ tag as they crumbled under pressure in most World Cups.

After hitting the match-winning runs against the co-hosts at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on Monday, all-rounder Marco Jansen believes the team morale and confidence has been boosted.

The lanky 24-year-old also believes that the close victories in the Caribbean prove that the current crop of players has moved past the ‘chokers’ tag and that they are out to prove their doubters wrong.

“In the past when people labelled us as chokers, now that is out of the window in our heads.

“For us it’s all about proving those people wrong and changing the narrative for us going forward,” Jansen said on Monday.

“The tight wins, I don’t think it does our sanity any good. But getting those wins gives the team a lot of confidence.

“The team is in a good space, I feel.

“It’s not a case of we think we’re invincible. We know anything can happen. We just try and set ourselves up as best as possible to do our best,” he added.

The semi-finals will be staged at the Brian Lara Stadium in Trinidad & Tobago and at the Providence Stadium in Guyana.

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