‘I enjoy being Killer Miller’
When it comes to genuine hard-hitting batsmen in the current cricketing world, David Miller is one of the frontrunners. The South African left-hander is the joint holder of the fastest T20I hundred, off just 35 balls which he struck against Bangladesh in 2017 and according to Miller it will remain one of the highlights of his career. The 31-year-old cricketer spoke to The Daily Star's Mazhar Uddin during an exclusive interview where he shared various topics of his career. The excerpts of the interview are given below:
The Daily Star [TDS]: Obviously, you had plans for ICC World T20 in Australia. The coronavirus pandemic brought things to a halt. As a cricketer how are you working to remain fit?
David Miller [DM]: Yes, I think coronavirus hasn't helped anyone. We haven't really heard whether the World Cup is on or off. For me it's been nice to be at home and take care of things that I haven't been able to for many years. It has been a great time to get fit and work on certain parts of my body that I haven't been able to do due to busy schedules that we get in normal circumstances.
TDS: Your only T20 international hundred came against Bangladesh which is also the fastest ever in history. Surely, it's special for you?
DM: Yes, It's definitely the highlight of my career. When you look back into your career, there are certain things that stand out and yes, it's definitely one of them. When these kinds of moments come, you are certainly going to cherish them. You know it makes everything so worthwhile.
TDS: You smashed 31 runs in an over off young pacer Mohammad Saifuddin while scoring that hundred. Do you think it worked as a big learning curve for a youngster like him?
DM: No bowler wants to be hit for 31 runs in an over. Looking back at it, he [Saifuddin] will have matured through that over, through that moment. So, it is a big learning curve for the youngsters and anyone really and that's what experience is all about.
TDS: 'Killer Miller' you must have heard your nickname in the cricketing fraternity obviously for your devastating batting style. Do you like this name?
DM: 'Killer Miller'...Obviously it's been there for many years now since 2013. It sort of came after I scored a hundred in the IPL. It's something I do enjoy. As a player, when you sort of have a nickname or something that the fans or people refer to you by, I suppose it shows you have done something in some way that has made an impact. I take it as a positive and I kind of go with this 'Killer Miller' and it's not going to change now.
TDS: Despite a brilliant first-class record, you decided not to play first class cricket anymore. What is the reason behind that decision?
DM: I think I have been playing T20s and one-day cricket for South Africa and it didn't really allow me due to the busy fixtures throughout the year. So, I didn't get opportunity to actually play first class cricket. I got to a stage and you know I never get opportunity to play Test cricket or for the South African A side. So, I decided to call it off and at least give myself an opportunity to express and learn. Obviously travelling around the world and go to one or two extra T20 competitions would ultimately help my international career. It was a personal decision and I stand strong on it.
TDS: Over the years you have gained a lot of experience as a player. Does that force you to change your natural free flowing approach when it comes to taking the added responsibility?
DM: I think through your career you obviously learn a lot and gain experience as you play in different conditions. The more you play the better you become. I always want to express myself and play instinctive kind of cricket. As I got older, the decision-making options got better and smoother. I suppose I still want to bat the same way I used to bat but then the joy of experience is that you make less mistakes as you get older.
TDS: Your father Andrew Miller was also a cricketer. How much he influenced you to become a cricketer?
DM: My father played just one first-class game so he never was a professional cricketer if you can say it like that. He played many years of club cricket. He was one of the biggest influences of my career. You know he was there at the backyard throwing to me all afternoon, hitting me the tennis ball catches and giving me the foundation where the roots got strong from the early days. He is my longest supporter since the age of five till now.