Why Proteas go off cliffs like lemmings

2013-06-19 15:17

Responsibility has been a recurring theme of South Africa’s ICC Champions Trophy. When they did not take responsibility against India, the result told the story.

But when just one player put their hand up in the Pakistan game, the South Africa deck of cards found a firm foundation from which they beat Pakistan. If it weren’t for Colin Ingram nullifying the threat of Sunil Narine, South Africa would not have been able to post the winning score of 230.

Cricket may be a team game, but it only takes one example, good or bad, for the team to follow. No, they are not sheep who will all jump off the cliff when the leader goes, but cricket has a sheep’s mind-set, especially in collapses.

South Africa will know all about chokes and collapses because they have been part of the cricket story since 1992. They have come in all shapes and sizes.

Whether it has been in selections, brain freezes or miscalculations, the Proteas have done it all. It may sound difficult in application and easier in theory, but all South Africa needed to do was for one or two players to stick up their hands and take responsibility.

All of cricket’s knockout games have examples of players owning the moment and giving their team-mates space in which to thrive.

Kumar Sangakarra showed it could be done and Nuwan Kulasekara did the rest, free-wheeling Sri Lanka to victory against England in what was a steep run chase.

The formula is very simple: Just one hand, that’s all.

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