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Gavaskar - India are world cricket's 'chokers'

Sunil Gavskar has said that the tag of 'chokers in the crunch matches' now probably belongs to India and not the South Africans who had monopolised it for a long time

Wisden Cricinfo staff
10-Feb-2004


Sourav Ganguly: another final disaster
© Getty Images


Once again India fell at the final hurdle, losing both VB Series finals to Australia by wide margins, and once again questions have been asked about their failure to win tournaments after playing well on the way to the final.
There was no shame in being beaten by Australia - they are the world champions, after all - away from home. What stuck in the throat was the manner and size of the defeats. And Sunil Gavaskar, writing in his syndicated weekly column, spoke for many when he said that "the way the Indian team just capitulated is what is so depressing.
"It was an impossible task alright, but so ordinary and unedifying was the sight of the batsmen getting dismissed regularly that the tag of 'chokers in the crunch matches' now probably belongs to them and not the South Africans, who had monopolised it for a long time now. More than the defeat, it was India's meek surrender that would have disappointed their supporters and followers.
"The batsmen gave the impression that since the target was so big they would just throw their bats at everything and see if it worked," Gavaskar continued. "What it conveyed was a "couldn't care a damn" feeling than an honest effort.
"Nobody likes to criticise for the heck of it and there's genuine joy when they do well so if there's sadness and no little anger at the manner of the loss, then that should also be understood."
And former Australian captain Ian Chappell said that Australia's "mental toughness" was the key to their success. "In the end it was the Australians who remained mentally strong through the summer and the Indians wilted. The Aussies will be hoping this final hammering has a lasting affect on India considering the next contest is on their turf."