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Miller taking his chance, spectacularly!

And just like that, the name on everybody’s lips at the IPL – and perhaps even beyond – is David Miller. It is with good reason too, as the young fellow from Pietermaritzburg played an absolute blinder of an innings to get his team over the line from what seemed an impossible position. To think that they had to go at about 12 runs an over from about the ninth over and yet in the blink of an eye and quite a few lusty blows later, the game was done and dusted – with all of two overs left to spare. It is just unfathomable.

Rewind the clock just a little bit and go back to last year where he was afforded only a few opportunities and was unable to capitalise. It meant a lot of time sitting on the sidelines watching others in the limelight doing what he felt he could do. In this edition of the Indian Premier League, the tournament did not begin in dissimilar fashion to what he kind of got accustomed to last year. Again he had to warm the bench and carry drinks and it very much looked like it was going to be another one of those rather tough holidays.

Well, things have changed rather drastically. His smash-and-grab against the Royal Challengers Bangalore was an unbelievable innings but one that many felt that he could play after watching him in the Kings XI Punjab’s five previous games. He got them over the line a second time and his side will be very grateful as it keeps them alive in the tournament and in touch with the leading pack on the table.

For one so young, David Miller exhibits an amazing calmness when faced with rather tough situations where scoreboard and bowling pressure would hasten others into playing rashly and miscalculating.

He has experienced international cricket despite being only 23 years old (he turns 24 in an month or so) and even through the difficulties of those experiences, he showed that he has a bit of talent. He seemed to acquire vital knowledge from that international exposure, which is now serving him well. Yes, it probably was too early to pick him and ask him to do the finishing job at just 21, but giving him a taste made him want to do it and he seems well on his way.

The Indian Premier League, while being tailored to suit India’s cricket needs in terms of young players getting a chance to glean knowledge of the game from experienced and seasoned internationals, also allows for young cricketers from other nations to improve and make a statement should they get sufficient opportunity.

It is just that much harder for the overseas players, as there are only four spots open on the team, which means competing with big names and having to bide one’s time. When the chance does come around though, it must be taken, for it may be a while before a second one. Miller sure has taken his chance and will benefit further from the events of “that” night.

He is also now going to have to deal with teams plotting his downfall particularly, as they will feel that no score is safe with him still at the crease – a great compliment to him.

To nick a phrase that a colleague, who has an affinity for Miller, used after congratulating him for his first seemingly impossible chase: “Well played, David. The very good players do it over and over again.”

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