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David Miller knows his role

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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.”

@ZaahierAdams

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