MS Dhoni and Gary Kirsten have helped David Miller to become one of cricket’s most lethal finishers.
The Proteas middle-order batsman has starred for new IPL franchise the Gujarat Titans in this year’s tournament.
In nine matches, Miller has scored 276 runs at an average of 69.00 and a strike rate of 150.81.
His highest score of 94* off 51 balls came in a thrilling three-wicket victory against the Chennai Super Kings. Needing 170 to win, the Titans had been in big trouble at 16-3 and then 48-4 before Miller came to the party.
“I like the role of finishing, that’s what I play the game for. I live for moments like that,” Miller told Rapport newspaper.
The 32-year-old said he had learned a lot from MS Dhoni, one of the game’s best finishers.
“I’m passionate about the way Dhoni approaches his task. I have also spoken to him occassionally about his role.
“He is calm and calculated. It’s not just about fours and sixes for him.
“He works out which bowlers still have to bowl. He will hit two, rotating the strike when he has to. And he tries to be there until the last over to do the finishing.”
Former Proteas batsman JP Duminy believes Gary Kirsten, the Gujarat Titans batting coach, has been a key factor in Miller’s success.
“There have been a few occasions where Gary and David have worked together before and they have a good relationship. He found a way to get the best out of David.”
Lance Klusener, Zimbabwe’s batting coach, says Miller’s ability to stay calm and embrace the pressure is key.
“I always say to David: Pressure is when you lie head down in the trench and bullets fly around you. Hitting 10 or 12 runs per innings to clinch the match is fun and enjoyment, not pressure.”