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David Miller knows his role


David Miller is not overly concerned with what number he bats, but rather wants to make an impact every time he walks to the crease.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Laszlo Geczo/INPHO/Shutterstock (12221837ab)Ireland vs South Africa. South Africa’s David Miller batting1st T20 International, Malahide, Dublin – 19 Jul 2021

CAPE TOWN – David Miller is not overly concerned with what number he bats, but rather wants to make an impact every time he walks to the crease.

There has long been a debate surrounding what the best position the hard-swinging southpaw should occupy within the Proteas T20 batting line-up. Often though it’s not about the actual position, but rather the state of the game.

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For instance, Miller came in at No 6 on Tuesday as he normally does, but it was after just 6.1 overs with South Africa reeling at 38/4. This allowed him the opportunity to assess the conditions before exploding towards the latter part of his innings.

“I would like to bat higher and I have mentioned that to Boucher and Temba, but at the same time there is a bigger goal,” Miller said after his 44-ball 75 that sealed the series for South Africa on Thursday.

“We have been chatting closely and there is a particular role that is required and needed, particularly going into a World Cup. The guys are definitely finding their groove, but at the end of the day it’s more a particular role in that position.

“I have been thrown upon that and I like to look at opportunities like that. I am a huge team man and I don’t want to bash my way and say ‘I want to bat No 3/4’. We have a structure in place and we are all on the same page.”

Miller’s match-winning innings will certainly be a confidence booster leading up to the T20 World Cup as there were concerns about the veteran’s form after a quiet series in the West Indies.

Miller, though, knows T20 cricket is a brutal form of the game with the margins for error miniscule for both batters and bowlers alike, particularly at the death. A bowler may miss his length by a few millimeters, but that is enough for him to suffer the indignity of being despatched for four sixes – like Ireland’s Josh Little was by Miller in the second T20I on Thursday.

Equally, a long strike from a batsman can be dragged back by an acrobatic piece of fielding on the very edge of the boundary. It is those inches that form the difference between a potentially momentum-swinging six and trudging back to the pavilion.

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The 32-year-old has played enough T20 cricket over the years to know that his role – coming in at No.6 during the slog overs – to understand the fine margins.

“I must be honest with you … I haven’t felt that I have been out of form. Obviously I am hard on myself and I want to do better but coming in at No.6, it is a particular role that is required,” Miller said.

“I just want to make an impact and it hasn’t quite worked out at No.6 lately but obviously today I had a bit of time. We were in a bit of trouble. And it’s always nice to get the team out of trouble and then put us in a great position to win the game.

“It’s been a long tour and now really chuffed to put in a performance like that.”


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