The choker tag has been unfairly used for the South Africa team: Mark Boucher

The underdog tag might be a blessing in disguise for the team

Mark Boucher
Mark Boucher. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

The South Africa cricket team, often dubbed as the perennial underdogs or chokers in international cricket will be looking to set the records straight when they take the pitch for the 2019 World Cup. Echoing the same thoughts, former Proteas wicketkeeper Mark Boucher, however, feels the underdog tag might be a blessing in disguise for the team going into the upcoming edition of World Cup in England.

Boucher, who holds the record for the most Test dismissals by a wicketkeeper — 532 catches and 23 stumpings- had to cut short his career after a serious eye injury against Somerset in 2012. He was of the view that the choker tag has been unfairly used for the South Africa team.


Justifying his comment, Boucher said, “The choking word comes out all the time and I feel that’s unfair because to win a World Cup you also need a lot of luck to go your way. There are a lot of good teams playing in the world at the moment.”

He added, “I think we are nowhere near the best team. It is a good space to go in out there and surprise a few. If you get into the semi-final or final then anything can happen. One good inning can win the day for you, so consistently we have to be at our best to get to a semi-final stage; then who knows.”

The current team lacks depth in the batting

The untimely retirement of talismanic Proteas batsman AB de Villiers has been a big loss for South Africa and the team has been trying every possible avenue to fix the challenging transition after the void left by the 34-year-old.

De Villiers announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket earlier in May after a glittering career spanning close to 14 years and Boucher feels in order to cope with his absence, skipper Faf du Plessis should take De Villiers’ No. 4 position in the batting order to add more stability.

“I think Faf has to take AB in a very senior role, moving to No 4 which then opens up No 3 position. Yes, we have a couple of guys who have been in there, but till now, none of them have been able to put their hands up and say ‘that’s my position’” he added.

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