This was a season to remember for David Miller. The South African batter has amassed 449 runs in this edition of the Indian Premier League – featuring for the new team Gujarat Titans.
Though he has anchored the team’s mid-tier, Miller’s biggest moment in the tournament came earlier this week when he defeated Prasidh Krishna of Rajasthan Royals three straight sixes in the first qualifier in Kolkata and led the Titans to the final.
Hardik: Miller is always a match winner for us
And ahead of Sunday’s final against the Royals, Miller admits he’s been able to perform well against the spinners so far in the tournament. “It’s been a good season for me against spin, I have to be honest. It’s something I’ve worked hard on and I never really thought I was a player who struggled with spin, but it’s an area I needed to improve,” Miller said in an interaction.
The nickname ‘Killer Miller’ now suits the South African batter, who has been able to punish the top spinners. But behind the success is good planning.
“And in the last three to four years I’ve changed my mind against spin. I’ve changed one or two things and I feel like I have to make sure, especially in T20 cricket, that I’m posing myself. If there’s a bad ball I try to score every ball but if there is a bad ball I’m in a good position to put it down for a four or six it puts a little pressure on the bowler So that’s one of the things I’ve tried to improve mentally,” he explained.
“This season, by hitting a little higher, I’ve been able to bat from the start of the season and have played all the games so it’s been nice not being in and out and I’ve managed to get something up all season to build and maintain. my confidence is growing. I really enjoyed that and the environment plays a big part in all of our performances,” said Miller.
Miller was part of the Rajasthan Royals outfit in the previous two editions but was unable to cement his place. But this time, the Titans, led by Hardik Pandya, have been able to rely on Miller’s experience and he delivered.
Hardik Pandya, the captain, leads the way for Gujarat Titans
“When you are seen well off the pitch as a player you feel comfortable and you are yourself and I am confident this will work out for many players in the game. Thanks to management, captain, the lads have a lot of made an effort to please the players,” Miller said.
“Definitely something that has changed this season is that I play every game. The last four to five years in the IPL I had a bad season in 2016 and since then I haven’t felt that (good) at all. It’s the nature of the IPL, that there are a lot of foreign players and only four can play. I had to go back and work on my game and just try to find a way to get it going,” he added.
In those times of crisis, he supported himself and never lost hope.
“I’ve been supported all the time by playing all the games and it allows you as a player to settle down and really not worry about selection, more so winning games. That’s a highlight for me this season. As you play more cricket you mature as a player and understand the different pressures and deal with failures what works for you what to do and what not so this all comes with experience and I feel I am on my am place I played in the IPL for 12 years I have been playing professional cricket for 14 years so I should know the game by knowledge I am in my place I enjoy taking on certain roles and challenges and love to to be part of this successful team…”
Kohli in IPL 2022: 341 runs in 16 games, two fifties and three golden ducks
After spending two months in Maharashtra and playing a solitary match in Kolkata, Miller is delighted to be back at Titans’ ‘home’ – the Narendra Modi Stadium. “I haven’t been to the ground. I was not in the camp beforehand. I’ve never seen the stadium, I’ve seen pictures of it and I don’t know what the wicket is like, we have a training session tomorrow,” he said on Friday.
“We didn’t get together as a team and talk about all the things we’re going to do, we hadn’t had any meetings yet, it’s been a few days off, we would get together and formulate something and talk about what we’ve done well in this campaign and what we need to do for the next game,” Miller said, “It’s hard to say about the conditions, except there will be 1,20,000 people in the stadium…”
It’s been a great season for Titan’s batter and ‘Killer Miller’ hopes to keep up the momentum!