London:South Africa are "chokers" and they continue to provide evidence that the tag is not given to them without reason although skipper Graeme Smith begs to differ.
For all the right words, sane and sanguine thinking and public posturing, skipper Smith did let it slip when he conceded his side would be "devastated" by yesterday's seven-run defeat at the hands of Pakistan in the first semifinal of the Twenty20 World Cup.
This crushing sense of loss of so many reverses - 1996, 1999, 2003 and 2007 World Cups; the roadblocks of Champions Trophy and now two successive ICC World Twenty20 - must have taken a toll on the Proteas cricketers' psyche.
Other occasions too come to mind in an instant: losing the semifinals of the ICC Knockout Trophy in 2000; two years later losing to India in the semifinals from an astonishing position and then semifinalists again in 2006 edition of the ICC Knock Out Trophy.
Words alone don't provide cure - correctives do but South Africa, since its readmission into the game in early 90s, has only been a bridesmaid or worse.
Choking, according to a research, comes from thinking too much. It causes a loss of instinct and panic sets in. It happens when a sportsman experiences spasms of doubt and is unable to focus. Negative thoughts unleash anxiety and a player loses his ability to perform under pressure. The result is disaster.