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David Miller. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/CHRISTIAAN KOTZE
David Miller. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/CHRISTIAAN KOTZE

Proteas middle-order striker David Miller feels fresh and ready to roll before a five-match T20 international series against India starting on Thursday.

He comes off the back of a sensational campaign in the Indian Premier League (IPL), in which he played a leading role in guiding the Gujarat Titans to glory in their debut season in the popular competition.

In the 16 matches he played, the Dolphins batter chalked up 481 runs at an average of 68.71 while striking at 142.73, smashing 32 boundaries and 23 sixes.

Despite resting some of their key players, Miller said India will still pose a huge challenge to their ambitions of winning the series.

“Over the past couple of years, due to the IPL, India has a lot of depth, very experienced players, and dealing with a lot of pressure in the IPL will certainly help them in international cricket.

“We know they don’t have their strongest team, but they are a serious team nonetheless with some serious match-winners. It is going to be a challenging series and we are well aware of that.

“We have built a nice squad in the past year-and-a-half, the guys are understanding their roles a lot better. So we just need to iron out a few things and get back to where we were winning matches and taking confidence from that heading into the World Cup later this year.”

Physical side

Miller said while it has been tough to manage the high workloads he has had to endure in recent months, he is looking forward to doing battle in India again.

“It has been quite challenging. Two months of IPL has kept me quite busy with a lot of games, but I have been working really hard over the past couple of years on the physical side of things,” he said.

He sees his new role as a senior individual in the side as a means of sharing his knowledge with the new crop of players coming through the system.

“I just see myself as someone who can bring that calming effect, create that calmness in the change room, clarify a few things with the younger guys as to what they need to do and just build those relationships better,” he said.

Captain Temba Bavuma said having Miller back in the squad, especially after his exploits in the IPL, will add strength to their ranks, but the left-hander does not believe the added responsibility will bring any additional pressure to perform.

“It is a nice feeling to know that having been at the IPL for so many years I can impart that knowledge to Temba and the rest of the team, but ... there are other guys who have also played in the IPL. So as a team we have a lot of experience in the change room,” he said.

Miller, who is the most-capped Proteas player in the current T20 squad and just five away from a century of games for his country in the format, said while it was always an ambition to play for SA, he never thought he would play as many games as he has.

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