David Miller, a key figure in South Africa’s middle order, is confident of shrugging aside his poor form in the recently-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) and delivering the goods at the World Cup starting May 30 in England and Wales. Miller, 29, managed 213 runs in 10 innings for Kings XI Punjab at an average of 26.62, before being dropped for the final few games in IPL 2019. “There have been a couple of games where I haven’t done so well. I have been training hard and doing the right things,” Miller told IANS in an interview. Agreeing that it would have helped had he got more runs under his belt in IPL going into the World Cup, Miller pointed out that the two tournaments are vastly different from each other in terms of format and design.
“Yeah, it obviously would have helped had I done well in the IPL and took the form into the World Cup, but what you also do need to realise is that these are two different conditions, India and England,” the hard-hitting left-hander said. Miller’s World Cup average is almost 64, almost two dozen runs more than his career aggregate of nearly 40. Furthermore, he has an ODI average of over 48 in England and thus would be taking confidence from that going into the showpiece event.
“It is important to follow the routine and building the confidence, taking each game as it comes,” said Miller who will be central to Proteas’ batting firepower as they would look to pursue targets of 350-plus, which has been the norm so far going by the just concluded ODI series between England and Pakistan. In South Africa’s bid to win the World Cup in their eighth attempt, pacer Kagiso Rabada will be a vital cog in the wheel.
The fast-rising 23-year old will be playing his first World Cup, on the back of a superb IPL where he scalped 25 wickets in 12 matches before getting injured. “He is one of the best in the world. He is a serious competitor and has done extremely well in the IPL,” Miller said of Rabada who played for Delhi Capitals in the IPL, helping them in a big way to reach their maiden playoffs.
South Africa will take on hosts England in the very first game of the World Cup, before locking horns with India on June 5. Asked about India skipper Virat Kohli, who did not have a great IPL, Miller said it won’t matter to him as he is very consistent. “He (Kohli) is very consistent. He is one of the best in the world, so we got to be on our toes.”
Miller also heaped praise on Indian off spinner R. Ashwin, under whose captaincy he played for Kings XI. “He is really knowledgeable about the game. He motivates the teammates too. He has done really well I would think,” Miller said.