David Miller, 'Saffa who never choked' will hope to continue his good knockouts form T20 WC final

    The Hawk
    June29/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    As the South African team takes the field for the historic ICC T20 World Cup final at Barbados, all eyes will be on David Miller, the dependable middle-order batter.

    David Miller

    Bridgetown: As South African team takes to the field for their historic ICC T20 World Cup final at Barbados, they will be hoping that good runs come from the willow of their middle-order batter David Miller, who has been Proteas crisis man over the years during ICC knockout games.
    The two undefeated sides in this edition, India and South Africa will clash for the T20 World Cup title in Barbados on Saturday. While Proteas recorded an authoritative nine-wicket defeat to end Afghanistan's dream campaign, India defeated England by 68 runs and took revenge of their defeat in the semis of 2022 edition.
    Though South Africa has a history of choking under crucial situations in knockout games, Miller has a fine record playing for Proteas in crunch games. During the ICC Champions Trophy semifinal in 2013 against England, he scored a fine 56 in 51 balls with five fours and two sixes to take Proteas to 175 from a poor position of 80/8, though England chased down the total easily.

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    Then came the 2014 T20 World Cup semifinal against India, in which he played a fine cameo of 23* in 12 balls, with two fours and a six to take Proteas to 172/4 in their 20 overs, which India chased thanks to Virat Kohli's 72*.
    In the 2015 Cricket World Cup semis, Miller gave a major flourish to Proteas' already high run-rate, scoring 49 runs in just 18 balls, with six fours and three sixes at a strike rate of over 272 to take Proteas to 281/5 in 43 overs of a rain-effected game. New Zealand chased the target of 298 runs within the same time-frame to handover Proteas yet another hearbreak.
    Eight years later, delivering perhaps his most valuable contribution of his career, Miller scored 101 in 116 balls, with eight fours and five sixes during the 50-over World Cup semifinal against Australia, to take them from 24/4 to 212 runs in 49.4 overs. Australia once again handed a heartbreak to Miller, chasing the total in 47.2 overs in a hard-fought game with three wickets left.
    In ICC tournament knockouts, Miller has scored 229 runs in four games at an average of 76.33, with a century and fifty each. His best score is 101.
    Miller has also featued in numerous Indian Premier League (IPL) knockout matches in his career while playing for Punjab Kings (PBKS) and Gujarat Titans, playing knocks of 8 (in losing cause against Kolkata Knight Riders in Qualifier one back in 2014), 38 (in winning cause against Chennai Super Kings in Qualifier two) and 1* (in losing cause against KKR in the final). Then for Gujarat Titans in 2022, he played brisk knocks of 68* and 32* against Rajasthan Royals in Qualifier one and finals, which came in winning situations. During the last year's Qualifier one against CSK, he scored just four runs in losing cause.
    In 10 knockout games in T20 and 50-over cricket, Miller has scored 380 runs in 10 innings at an average of 63.33, with a century and two half-centuries.

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    The veteran batter has experienced defeat and heartbreak after his efforts in knockouts. Will his hard work bear fruit this time? Will the 'Saffa who never choked' get his hands on a World Championship title? Only time will tell.
    India Squad: Rohit Sharma(c), Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant(w), Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shivam Dube, Axar Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Sanju Samson, Mohammed Siraj, Yashasvi Jaiswal
    South Africa Squad: Quinton de Kock(w), Reeza Hendricks, Aiden Markram(c), Tristan Stubbs, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Tabraiz Shamsi, Ottneil Baartman, Gerald Coetzee, Bjorn Fortuin, Ryan Rickelton.