Dolphins’ Miller called up as Proteas seek fresh talent

2010-05-14 00:00

IN a sign of things to come, the South African selectors have plucked David Miller from the SA “A” tour in Bangladesh and added the powerful left-hander to the Proteas ODI squad for the tour of the West Indies.

Miller’s free-flowing style saw him enjoy a breakthrough season in the recently finished campaign, and he has carried that form over to Asia, where he bludgeoned 115 not out off just 60 balls against Bangladesh “A” this week.

After the Proteas’ catastrophic showing at the ongoing World Twenty20 event in the Caribbean, there was certainly a need for a change of direction from a team that is looking increasingly predictable.

Miller, at just 20, provides a refreshingly straightforward approach to batting, and the hope is that the Proteas will not summon him to the Caribbean for a holiday only, as they did to the tenacious Rusty Theron.

The time has come for the current crop of national players — in limited overs, anyway — to move on, and with the 2011 World Cup in India around the corner, the likes of Miller and Theron need to be given every chance to establish themselves.

Miller came into prominence with several brutal assaults on local attacks in both the MTN40 Championships and the Standard Bank Pro20 earlier this year.

Much more than just a slugger, the precociously talented Maritzburg College product has shown an appetite for the big time, even during a trying season for the Dolphins.

Innings of 90 off just 52 balls against the Lions in the Pro20 and a cameo in the MTN40 final against a high-quality Warriors attack showed that he is no “B” side bully, and he will hope to transfer that form to the highest level.

Convenor of selectors Andrew Hudson said Miller’s power-hitting in the middle order is an attractive option for the Proteas to have.

Miller will join the squad next week, while Hashim Amla, Alviro Petersen, Ryan McLaren and Lonwabo Tsotsobe will arrive at the weekend.

Meanwhile, the KZN Dolphins have started their preparations for next season ultra-early, with a “boot camp” that kicked off last week under the watchful eyes of coach Graham Ford and Richard Pybus.

Judging by the looks of horror on several players’ faces this week after a running session, the Dolphins will certainly be one of the fittest units come October at the very least.

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