For Proteas captain Miller, it's all about managing the T20 madness: 'It gets a bit crazy'

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  • Proteas T20 stand-in skipper David Miller believes his biggest challenge in the series against England is just managing the "craziness" and frantic nature of the games.
  • The experienced left-hander, however, has the benefit of a settled attack around him as well as a group of senior players, unlike his previous stint against Pakistan in 2019.
  • Miller believes the series is still very important prep for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup despite the fickle nature of momentum in the short form game.


David Miller isn't a stranger to the Proteas' T20 captaincy.

Back in 2019, he was entrusted with the role in a home series against Pakistan, where the hosts experimented pronouncedly, especially with the attack.

In fact, his maiden outing was a helter-skelter affair at the Wanderers where South Africa, defending 188, looked out of it after Babar Azam guided the visitors to 147/1 after 16 overs before Miller and his inexperienced bowlers somehow conjured up a 7-run victory.

It's little wonder then he highlighted merely coping with the "madness" as the biggest challenge when the Proteas commence a three-match skirmish with England in Bristol on Wednesday evening.

READ | Divisive? Proteas and Rilee mend fences for T20 glory: 'He's never been a mainstream thinker'

"I have captained a few times in my career and what I've learnt is that things do get a little bit crazy and frantic out there," said Miller.

"But it's really just about having clear plans along with staying as calm as possible. I've already done a bit of prep, it's important."

Undoubtedly assisting him this time around is the fact that he can bank on a settled, potent attack featuring the pace triumvirate of Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje along with the spin of Tabraiz Shamsi.

"That definitely helps," said Miller.

"You have to learn quickly at this level, but for me it's just about knowing what the bowlers would like and having a clear plan of what I want. It's about finding that median.

"In the end, you have to have trust in the players executing their skills. As captain, you can't control everything, so having faith is really key. And I definitely do have in my teammates."

Miller's elevation to the role, on the back of regular skipper Temba Bavuma being injured, also puts squarely into focus how much momentum South Africa can derive from the series before the ICC T20 World Cup in October.

After all, they only have five more matches remaining before the showpiece in Australia and the current top order would have to change anyway to incorporate Bavuma's return.

"Yeah, it does become a bit challenging when your key players start getting injured. It's part of the game. Over the past year or so, we've got together a squad that we're really comfortable with," said Miller.

"With Temba out, it doesn't really help in that regard. But it allows us to see other players around the country."

He also made the reasonable point that form and stability going into the World Cup isn't necessarily the only precursor to success, evidenced by defending champions Australia's tale in the UAE last year.

"It goes a long way doing well before a World Cup in getting results and stuff like that. It goes both ways I suppose," said Miller.

"You look at Australia and they didn't do so well before the tournament, but they performed at the right time. For us, these games are important and keeping the momentum from the last 18 months.

"We're taking this very seriously."          

 


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