David Miller: Raw Proteas T20 squad is hardly a bad thing

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David Miller (Gallo Images)
David Miller (Gallo Images)
  • David Miller believes the Proteas' relatively raw T20 squad holds a significant advantage as the series against Pakistan starts. 
  • Un-shackled by the mental toll of the Test series loss, this group should have the boldness of just going out and playing freely.
  • Miller also argues the presence of various franchise veterans actually compensates for a lack of international caps.

The Proteas' quest to start their three-match T20 series against Pakistan on a positive note on Thursday will, in fact, be boosted by the absence of the majority of the Test squad, David Miller believes.

Only four members of the red-ball group - Tabraiz Shamsi, Lutho Sipamla, George Linde and Dwaine Pretorius - are present for 20-over action after South Africa decided to stick to the plan of sending a host of first-choice players back home after the Test series despite Australia's withdrawal from next month's series.

Consequently, it's hoped that Miller and his inexperienced team-mates flourish because they aren't bogged down by the mental toll of Pakistan's whitewashing of the side in the five-day section of the trip.

"It's a really refreshing group of guys," the big-hitting left-hander, by far the most grizzled member of the squad, said.

"It was always going to be (given their enthusiasm). Yes, we're going to be under quite a lot of pressure during the games, we'd assume.

"But it's a great opportunity for guys to step up. It's nice that the logistics have panned out this way."

Despite having to face one of the more accomplished teams in T20 internationals, the thrill and pride of representing one's country should allay some inevitable nerves by most of the players.

"For us, we've discussed the importance of representing South Africa and we're really here to win," said Miller.

"You're playing for your country, regardless of whether it's your first or 100th game. We want to represent this team in the best possible light and we've come with a positive mindset. 

"We want this series to be competitive."

While, at least on paper, there's a glaring lack of collective international caps in the squad, one of the more interesting dynamics is a group of batsmen - headed by Miller, Jon-Jon Smuts, Pite van Biljon and Reeza Hendricks - who could compensate for that by knowing their games inside-out from years of playing franchise cricket.

"The guys have been around the block, some of them for almost 10 years plus," said Miller.

"They do know their games. Ultimately, cricket is played the same way at all levels. The only difference is that the intensity is higher.

"That's something that the guys will have to be aware of and it's been brought to their attention during preparation. It's just about knowing that things move faster. But the game remains the same.

"If they just gather their thoughts under pressure, I can't see why we can't win this series."

The first T20 in Lahore starts at 12:30.


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