Faf du Plessis believes David Miller has improved his game dramatically since he got dropped, as both batsmen scored centuries in the Proteas’ victory against Sri Lanka on Wednesday.
The Proteas coasted to another easy victory at Kingsmead, as Du Plessis and Miller, helped along by a determined bowling effort, saw them go 2-0 up with 121-run victory. It followed the eight-wicket victory in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, and Sri Lanka’s battered unit are hard-pressed to figure out where the results are going to come from in this series.
While Sri Lanka’s side are young and inexperienced and lack a bit of confidence, take nothing away from the batting displays of Du Plessis and Miller, who combined to devastating effect with different approaches to their game.
Du Plessis’ 105 was stylish and crafty as he took the attack to the paceman up front, before settling for the 1s and 2s in the middle overs. Miller’s 117 looked every bit of a knock from a player who’s game has matured and improved immensely since he was dropped for the Tri-Nation series in West Indies back in June last year.
Miller returned to the ground where he struck an unbeaten 118 to clinch the series against Australia in October last year, and Du Plessis, who continues to excel with or without captaincy duties, was full of praise for the way Miller went about his work.
‘We complemented each other really well,’ said Du Plessis after the game. ‘It’s great to bat with him because he can shift gears. So it’s great to see he can adapt his game plan to what the situation is. He’s not just a power hitter, he’s a smart batter as well now.
‘He knows that 30s and 40s are not what’s going to make him great, but he can believe he can do more now.’
The Proteas are on a run of eight ODI victories in a row now. The bowlers played their part under the lights at Kingsmead as Imran Tahir bagged 2-26 from nine overs, while the rest all chipped in with at least a wicket. Du Plessis believes that the more the side plays together, the more mature they’ve become as a unit.
‘There were periods of the game where it got tough. Especially against a team that has a lot of spinners, your batting lineup can be challenged, and we stood up. It shows that we’re becoming more mature as a batting unit.’
Photo: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images