Proteas

Miller: This means the world to me

2016-10-06 07:01
Faf du Plessis and David Miller (Gallo)

Durban - In predicting South Africa's starting XI for the third ODI against Australia at Kingsmead on Wednesday, there were many who felt that David Miller would be left out. 

Hashim Amla, ill for the first ODI in Pretoria and overlooked for the second in Johannesburg, simply had to come back into the team. 

But the form of Rilee Rossouw, who had carded half centuries opening the batting in both of those matches, meant that he would have to move down the order to accommodate Amla's return at the top. 

Somebody had to drop out, and Miller seemed a likely choice, but in the end the selectors went with Farhaan Behardien. 

It left Miller with another opportunity to prove his worth. 

What followed was a ridiculous match-winning knock of 118* off just 79 balls that saw the Proteas chase down 371 for victory.

That score had been posted earlier by the Australians as the highest total Kingsmead had ever seen in the format.

Miller, back on his old patch, was simply outstanding.

Having been dropped after last year's ODI series in India, the former Dolphins batsman spent more than 12 months out of the national ODI side.

But a good run for SA 'A' in Australia saw him called back into the squad last month.

Miller had to answer a lot of questions on Wednesday night over his ability to deliver for the Proteas when it mattered most.

He did so in a big way, and South Africa now have an unassailable 3-0 series lead against the world champions. 

It was a knock that displayed all of the 27-year-old's finest attributes as a blend between pure timing and sheer power saw Miller manage South Africa's run chase perfectly. 

It was the big innings that Miller needed to showcase just what he is capable of. 

"It obviously means the world to me. Being dropped a couple of months ago … it’s been an interesting year for me and I’ve learnt quite a bit," a beaming Miller said after his knock.

"I believe everything happens for a reason and it was really a special moment to take the team home. I take a lot of confidence from that.

"I was trying to not really show my nerves in the beginning. I couldn’t really get going and I kept hitting he fielders.

"I knew we had to keep the run rate going. I just tried to take it slowly in the beginning and soak it up. I think I hit a boundary to get going after about 15 or 16 balls and from there things started coming a bit easier."

Miller batted for most of his innings with a groin strain, and he was unsure if he would recover for Sunday's fourth ODI in Port Elizabeth. 

With wickets running out and the run rate always challenging, Miller kept the Proteas well in the chase throughout. He had a clear plan.

"I always know once we get below 100 (to win) … it’s a big milestone," he said.

"I knew if we just carried on and batted 50 overs we would win the game. That’s what I told Dwaine (Pretorius), that’s what I told Andile (Phehlukwayo). That was the plan."

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