Young Miller makes a strong statement

Young Miller makes a strong statement

The way David Miller was shaping up in the last couple of games, one could sense a bigger innings round the corner.

He had been the light in the tunnel for the Kings XI Punjab this season. A team that had been struggling for recognition since the past few editions seemed to find its answers to batting woes in the 23-year-old South African. But the way Miller exploded on Monday night awed even his team-mates. The crowd that had come to witness the Chris Gayle magic returned smitten by “Killer Miller”.

Miller, indeed, batted with such murderous intent that a superior Royal Challengers Bangalore, who had no inkling of the impending danger, were simply caught off-guard. To be fair to the Challengers, they had reasons to feel in control. They had posted an tough 190-run total and then scythed through the Kings XI top order. Miller and R Sathish were the last recognized batting pair, and needed to rustle up close to 14 runs an over from the last seven.

But Miller was in a zone. He fearlessly went after the attack and made it look pedestrian.
One of the things becoming increasingly obvious about Miller is his consistency to hit shots in the “V”.  It was on display during his last three half centuries, too.  In fact, it was something which has been ingrained in him when he was a child. “If it's in the V, in the tree; if it's in the arc, it's out of the park," Miller’s father would tell him. On Monday night, he put the teaching to perfection.

Panic triggered among the Challengers as he single-handedly twisted the momentum of the match and even the most experienced couldn’t keep away the growing anxiety.
Miller was modest in describing his innings that had become one of the defining moments of this edition. His unbeaten 101 off 38 balls was also the third fastest century in the IPL and his maiden Twenty20 century. Importantly, it came when his team was facing a must-win situation.

The fact that a furiously pacing skipper Virat Kohli, one of the safest hands on the field, missed a skier by Miller, who was at 41 at that time, betrayed how the young batsman played on their mind. The last four overs leaked 82 runs!

“This was one such day when the ball was coming to the sweet spot. I just tried to enjoy myself, play the best cricket I can. I was lucky to get a few boundaries and obviously getting dropped. I rode the luck when it was there,” said Miller,  who hit eight fours and seven sixes.

He  admitted he had never timed the ball so well before."I don't think so. It's really a nice piece of willow," he said.

RCB skipper Kohli was generous in his praise of Miller. “One of the best innings anyone has ever seen in the IPL. 190 was a par total. You concentrate hard when you go for catches, but sometimes they don't stick. It was an incredible innings."

David Hussey was short of words to describe Miller heroics. “About an innings like that, what can you say? It seems unreal when you sit down and watch it. He is a Kings XI Punjab player for life,” he said.

Miller is just two ODIs old for South Africa and is yet to be considered a regular in the national side. He made it to the Champions Trophy squad in place of Jacques Kallis. For the young Miller, this could well  be a real start for higher echelons.

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