NEW DELHI : ' Chokers tag will always follow South Africa.' Skipper Bavuma believes Proteas can only shed it by winning the elusive world title.

South African skipper Temba Bavuma admitted Friday that his country's reputation for being World Cup ''chokers'' will only be shed when they capture an elusive maiden international Trophy.

The Proteas have often been undone by the weather as well losing their nerve at key moments with victory within their clutches.

In 1952, they were handed a rain-revised and mathematically impossible target of 22 runs off one ball to defeat England in the semi-final.

ELEVEN years later, they conjured defeat from certain victory in a farcical finish in their semi-final with Australia.

In their eight World Cup appearances since returning from the wilderness of the apartheid-era, South Africa have made four semi-finals but never the championship match.

'' As a South African team, we know we're going to have that chip on our block, or that narrative that we have to get over,'' said Bavma.

'' That's always going to be there until we win a trophy.''

Bavuma admits that he has occasionally used the word ''choker''.

But his team should be buoyed by being free of the baggage of the past self-destruction - seven members of the 15-man squad in India have never played in a World Cup.

That figure includes the 33-year-old Bavuma.

'' I think there are guys who believe that it applies to this team, there are guys who don't believe that it applies to this team,'' he said of the ''chokers'' tag.

'' I think the belief amongst the team, that's the most important bit I bring up to just make sure that we're not kind of skirting around the issue.

'' It's that acceptance that it would always be there within the team, within this group, within guys who are to come.Hopefully they don't have to experience that. [AFP]  


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