In the cricketing world, he is known as ‘Killer Miller’ for his aggressive batting. The South African cricketer David Miller is playing for the Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League. In a recent chat with CricketSoccer, the southpaw opens up about playing cricket in India, his own form and the challenges his team has to face in this year’s IPL.
Here are the excerpts:
CricketSoccer: Last year your performance in the IPL was not worth remembering. How do you feel this year?
David Miller: Yeah.. Last year I didn’t score as many runs as my team Kings XI Punjab was expecting from me. I had given my hundred percent. But sometimes result doesn’t reflect the effort you put in. It really felt bad not to contribute for the team’s cause. But what is past is past. I don’t think much about the performance of the previous year. The year before last year was a very good session for me. It happens in Cricket. Sometimes you perform, sometimes you don’t. But this year I have started to feel very confident after the first few matches. In two of the matches, I scored some quickfire runs. Hope to continue this form in the rest of the IPL as well.
CS: How did you rectify your flaws this year?
Miller: I spent a lot of time in the nets. I didn’t try to put any extra effort, just kept it simple. I emphasized on the basics and got results. For the past 10 months, I have been scoring runs consistently, both in International stage and in the domestic cricket in South Africa. Now I am middling the balls and feeling confident.
CS: In KXIP, you have Virender Sehwag as the coach and mentor. Sehwag himeslf always remains very confident and portrays a positive frame of mind. How helpful is it to you?
Miller: Ohh.. Sehwag has been very helpful. You seldom find a cricketer who is so positive in his attitude. If you spend some time with Sehwag, you will definitely start to think positively. Sehwag always tells me to work hard and not to focus much on the outcome. He believes that if you give your best effort in the field, the result must be in your favour. It is Sehwag who transforms me into a better cricketer. I am quite fortunate to have him as coach and mentor in KXIP.
CS: Playing in India and to get success here always considered to be one of the most challenging jobs in World Cricket. How do you feel about that?
Miller: India has always been a challenge for me. But I have played so many matches here. Now I am used to the condition of the sub continent. I know what challenges a cricketer can face playing here and the way to overcome those challenges. I think all depends on your preparation and I always ensure that I am hundred pecent ready to take those challenges.
CS: You started the tournament with two back to back wins and then suddenly lost two matches. How is the situation now for KXIP?
Miller: Yeah, winning is always very important. It gives a lot of confidence. In first two games we chased very well. We have a very balanced side this year. We lost last few matches but it is quite normal in a long tournament such as IPL. There is a long way to go and I am sure we are going to bounce back very soon.
CS: Glenn Maxwell had a very good test series against India and the way he is playing in this year’s IPL, do you think it is going to give an edge to KXIP?
Miller: Yeah, he is an ‘X’ factor player. He is a match winner for us. Maxwell is one of those players who can bat and bowl. He started really well, expressed himself on the ground. That’s good for the team. Also as a captain, he is doing well.
CS: T-20 cricket is all about attacking from the very first ball. So from a batsman’s point of view, how difficult is it to go gaga from the very first ball?
Miller: It’s part of the T-20 game. Different cricketers have different approaches how they go with their innings. Some batsmen like to attack from the very first ball. Some others like to spend some time initially and then play aggressively. Also a lot depends on the match situation.
CS: Playing in IPL and spending almost two months in India every year, how do you feel about the Indian culture and Indian food?
Miller: I am from Durban where so many Indians live. There are Indian restaurants in Durban and we sometimes visit there to have some Indian dishes. So I feel very homely with the Indian culture and food. I like the taste of Butter Chicken and some other Indian dishes.