Salman Butt, former tainted Pakistan skipper was of the opinion that it is too early to tag the current Indian cricket team as chokers in ICC events. Salman Butt stated that India hasn’t lost as many big tournaments as South Africa to be termed as chokers.
Team India was severely criticized for failing to deliver in the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand in Southampton. They were the strongest side in the competition going into the final but were thumped by the Kiwis in the summit clash despite two full days of play lost to rain.
Salman Butt: India Don’t Have A Long History Of Not Winning An ICC Event
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Salman Butt explained that India has won big tournaments under previous captain MS Dhoni and that Virat Kohli’s men have only played a handful of ICC knockout games.
Responding to a query in this regard, Butt elaborated: “India don’t have a long history of not winning an ICC event. Under previous captain MS Dhoni, India won the Champions Trophy (2013), the World T20 (2007) and the 50-over World Cup (2011).
“Recently, India played the World Test Championship (WTC) final and the 2019 World Cup semi-final. They have been almost there among the world’s Top 2 teams. So, the frequency of India’s losses is not that much to term them as chokers.”
Under Virat Kohli, India has come close thrice to lift an ICC Trophy – the Champions Trophy in 2017, the 2019 World Cup, and most recently, the WTC final – but have stumbled at the final hurdle.
While India failed to win the T20 World Cups in 2014 and 2016 and the 2015 ODI World Cup under MS Dhoni, the talismanic captain had led the team to three ICC titles before that(2007 T20 World Cup, 2011 World Cup, 2013 Champions Trophy).
Salman Butt: Nobody Calls New Zealand Chokers Even Though They Lost Several Semi-Finals And Two Finals In 2015 And 2019 World Cup
Salman Butt pointed out even New Zealand lost a lot of knockout games in ICC events before winning the WTC final.
“Look at the number of semi-finals New Zealand have played in the World Cup. They have played two finals as well (2015 and 2019). Nobody called them chokers. South Africa were termed chokers because they frequently lost big matches. They went down in a lot of finals and crunch games. That isn’t the case with India as yet.”
India has frequently made it to the semi-finals and finals of ICC events since the 2013 Champions Trophy but has failed to go all the way. They went down to Sri Lanka by six wickets in the 2014 World T20 final in Mirpur.