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Proteas’ World Cup chances in India could be boosted by David Miller’s ‘grey hair’

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The Proteas will be fortunate to have someone as experienced as David Miller at this year’s Cricket World Cup in India.

David Miller is easily the most experienced member of the current Proteas squad, having debuted back in 2010. Picture: Frikkie Kapp, BackpagePix

David Miller once joked that he would rather lose his hair than his toned six-pack of stomach muscles.

But now that it’s really happening Miller, 34, is not finding it quite so funny anymore, especially that his receding hairline is tied in with the fact that the upcoming ICC World Cup in India could indeed be his last rodeo.

“If you look at my grey hair sprouting out now, I think I’ll take it year by year from now. I’ve spent a lot of years playing this game. Four years from now is a long way away, so I don’t really know what’s going to happen in time to come,” said Miller, who sported a new shortly cropped hairstyle at the Cricket SA Awards.

Miller is easily the most experienced member of the current Proteas squad, having debuted back in 2010, been part of two previous World Cup (2015 and 2019), four T20 World Cups (2014, 2016, 2021, 2022) and two Champions Trophy squads (2013 and 2017), which all totals to 269 white-ball internationals.

To fully understand Miller’s longevity is that he began his career under Graeme Smith’s captaincy, South Africa were yet to host the 2010 Fifa World Cup, and Dewald Brevis had just started junior school.

It is this experience that the Proteas will bank on during a tournament that will not only test their playing credentials, but also their mental strength due to the hectic travel schedule that incorporates zig-zagging across the subcontinent for close to two months.

Fortunately, Miller has spent large amounts of time in India where he has featured in the Indian Premier League on a consistent basis for the last decade.

He, particularly, has fond memories of the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad where the Proteas face Afghanistan on November 10 and to hopefully return for the final in nine days time at the same venue.

Miller, of course, plays his IPL cricket out of the colossal 100,000-seater stadium for the Gujarat Titans, where he has already experienced winning and losing an IPL final there over the past two years.

The Proteas southpaw certainly believes it will be beneficial, although the World Cup is being played at a completely different time than when the IPL is customarily held during the summer months of April and May and for the fact that all South Africa’s matches are day-night affairs.

“I think all the experience gained in the IPL, all the Indian tours we’ve had, we’ve played a lot of cricket in India will go a long way in those conditions,” he said.

“But to be honest I’m not quite sure whether it’s summer, winter, spring, autumn that time of the year there in India, but it will make a bit of play. In ODI cricket, there is a chance that you could be in the field in the evening, so the dew might be a factor. Hopefully Temba (Bavuma) gets the toss right and we can choose what we want to do.”

Miller will spend the next month in the United States of America where he will turn out for one his many T20 franchise outfits, the Texas Super Kings, in the newly-formed Major League Cricket tournament before rejoining the Proteas squad for the all-important series against Australia next month.

@ZaahierAdams

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