Gujarat Titans’ hero on Sunday night, South Africa’s David Miller, has said that the Indian Premier League’s rule capping the number of overseas players to just four in a match was one of the reasons why he was not able to play some more entertaining innings, adding that his below-par batting average in the lucrative league could also be attributed to that.
The 32-year-old Miller smashed an unbeaten 94 off just 51 deliveries in the chase as the Hardik Pandya-led Titans completed a thrilling win, chasing down Chennai Super Kings’ 169 with just one ball remaining at the MCA ground on Sunday. Miller was adjudged ‘Player of the match.
Asked for the reason behind the dip in his scoring rate from 2016 to 2021 and then the resurgence in 2022, Miller, attributed it to team dynamics. The South African spent more time on the bench in those six years than in the playing XI. But coming into the Titans’ setup, he was assured that he would be a regular starter.
Miller was also averaging 22.6 at a strike rate of less than 120 in the IPL from 2016 to 2021.
“The last two, three, four years, I’ve been playing really, really nice cricket. I’ve been feeling positive and I’ve been scoring really nicely — back at home, overseas and so on,” Miller, who has played 143 ODIs and 95 T20Is, averaging 40.73 and 31.89 respectively in the two formats, said after the game.
“Unfortunately, the last four to five years I haven’t really played as much IPL cricket as I would have liked to. The nature of the tournament is that there are only four overseas (players in the XI), and you know, overseas players are always going to miss out. And I’ve sort of found myself in between a place where I’ve been in and out, in and out — of Kings XI and then Rajasthan (Royals). I played some decent games there but I just felt like I couldn’t really get going.
“It’s been really, really encouraging to be a part of the Gujarat Titans and just know that I’m 100 percent backed. We’ve had a really nice environment, really enjoyed each others’ success. I think that goes a long way to doing well. But, more importantly, (it’s) been really nice to actually play every game.”