IPL 2022: Playing every game allowed me to settle into my role, says Gujarat Titans’ David Miller | Cricket News



AHMEDABAD: The three straight sixes he beat from Prasidh Krishna to seal the first qualifier against the Rajasthan Royals, when his side needed 16 from the final, at Eden Gardens sums up just how far David Miller has become lethal in IPL 2022. The South African’s crack, 38-bal 68 not knocked out, turned the 189-point chase into a cruise for the Gujarat Titans.
It was the umpteenth time that Miller had put the perfect finishing touch on the Gujarat Titans sleeves this season. Although the quick cameos were plentiful, his best score – a 51-ball 94 unbeaten run against Chennai Super Kings in Pune – was a blow for the ages as he bailed his team out of hail in the company of Rashid Khan.
Enjoying by far the best of his nine IPL seasons so far, the 32-year-old South African scored 449 points in 15 games averaging 64.14 to become the Gujarat Titans’ top scorer in this IPL. Playing at No.5, he looked a lot more dangerous than when he came up for the Rajasthan Royals or the Punjab Kings. His solid shots were a huge factor in GT’s superb run to the finals in the franchise’s first season itself.
It’s hard to believe this southpaw is the same batsman who struggled to bat the ball in IPL-2021 for the Royals – all he managed to score was 124 runs in nine games at an average of 24, 80, with only a fifty . It was no surprise when he went unsold in the first round of this year’s IPL auction, before Gujarat Titans snapped him up for Rs 3 crore. So far, this purchase has proven to be a bargain!
Thanks to his captain Hardik Pandya, Miller has finally had “job security” and “role clarity” in the IPL, and is making the most of it.
“Definitely something that has changed this season is that I play every game. The last four-five years in the IPL, I had a bad season in 2016 and since then I haven’t really 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,” Miller explained during an interaction hosted by Gujarat Titans.
“I had to go back and work on my game and try to find a way to make it work. I’ve been supported throughout, playing all the games and it sets you up as a player and really not worrying about selection, more so (about) winning plays. That has been remarkable for me this season.
Beating a higher spot at No. 5, instead of No. 6, gave him more time to come in, and the promotion also reflects the confidence that team management has in his abilities to steer the ship. team in the middle.
“This season, I hit a little higher. I managed to beat from the start of the season and played every game so it was nice not to be in and out and I managed to build something all season and keep my confidence .
“The support from captain Pandya and coach Ashish Nehra relaxed him off the pitch which helped him excel on the pitch. I really enjoyed that and the environment has a big part to play in all of our performances.As a player if you are seen well off the pitch you feel comfortable and be yourself and I am sure for a lot of players that will come out in the game. management, captain, the guys put a lot of effort into making the players comfortable,” he said.
Hitting in the middle of the overs, Miller was able to easily attack the spin, helping GT sprint at this point in the innings.
“It’s been a good season for me against the spin, I have to be honest. It’s something I worked hard on and I never really thought I was a player who struggled with spin, but that’s an area I needed to improve. And in the last three-four years I’ve changed my mindset against spin. I’ve changed a couple of things and I feel like it’s it’s just about making sure, especially in T20 cricket, that I’m laying down, when there’s a bad ball I’m looking to score every ball, but if there’s a bad ball I’m in a good position to put it aside for a four or a six, it puts a bit of pressure on the bowler, so that’s one of the things I’ve tried to improve mentally,” he explained.
At this point in his career, Miller benefits from the experience he gained as a professional cricketer, having been part of the pressure cooker atmosphere of the IPL for nearly a decade now.
“As you play cricket you mature as a player and understand the different pressures and deal with failures, what works for you, what you need to do and what doesn’t. So, it all comes with experience and i feel like i’m in a place where i played for 12 years in the IPL, i played 14 years pro cricket so i should know my game by now i’m in a place where I enjoy taking on certain roles and challenges and enjoying being part of this successful team,” he said.
After his heroism in the first qualifier, Hardik was eloquent on Miller, his star finisher.
“I’m really proud of how he’s raised his game. He’s a really good guy. I was proud to play with him, to enjoy it. He’s just such a wonderful guy, I always wanted good things to happen to him,” Hardik said.
For Hardik, it was important that Miller felt he wouldn’t be let down after just one or two failures. A guaranteed place in the XI was what he had been denied by his two previous teams.
“It kind of shows that if you show love and importance to a particular player, he can blossom and how! A lot of people counted out David Miller, but for us he’s won the game from the moment we bought him at auction. It was important to give him this importance, this clarity in relation to what is expected of him. If he fails, it’s fine, it’s just a game,” Hardik said.
“If it’s in the V, it’s in the tree. If it’s in the arc, it’s out of the park,” Miller joked during the post-match presentation after starring in GT’s Qualifier One win.
It’s not a joke that those who play him bowling really appreciate!


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