Punjab v Bangalore, IPL 2013, Mohali

Miller lives up to his potential

David Miller's ability to hit boundaries in clusters on his way to a 38-ball century led to panic among the RCB bowlers

Abhishek Purohit

May 6, 2013

Comments: 59 | Text size: A | A

A sense of inevitability had come over the PCA Stadium midway through the Kings XI Punjab chase. Sitting in the dugout, Adam Gilchrist, amid helpless glances at the scoreboard, was complaining about poor umpiring decisions his side had received over the season. Royal Challengers Bangalore were bowling and fielding with the look of a side that puts up a monstrous total in a Twenty20, strikes early in the chase and then waits for the remainder of the game to play itself out. The usual questions were being asked. Did Kings XI have the pace to bowl short at Chris Gayle? Was it possible to stop AB de Villiers at the death?

David Miller launches into a shot, Kings XI Punjab v Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2013, Mohali, May 6, 2013
David Miller hit many of his boundaries in the 'v' © BCCI

Royal Challengers had reason to feel safe. The last proper batting pair was at the crease, to be followed by a bowling allrounder who had had about the worst tournament debut you could imagine with the ball. Situations can approach the improbable quickly in T20. Nearly 14 an over needed from the last seven. What do you do? If you are David Miller, you hit the cover off the ball, mostly in the 'V', and hand out rhyming threats to bowlers - V, tree, arc, park. If you are Royal Challengers, you do not drop him.

Miller had taken 14 off his previous three deliveries when Virat Kohli missed a skier and copped a blow to his jaw. Soon, the RCB big three were feeling the pressure. De Villiers, of all fielders, fumbled in the deep to allow a second, and his throw arrived exactly in the middle of the pitch. Gayle took a couple of steps and floated his first delivery down the leg side. Kohli argued with the umpire about calling a no-ball that wasn't.

Hard as it was to take your eyes off Miller's assault, you couldn't ignore the panic spreading like wildfire among the RCB bowlers. Three successive boundaries hemmed in by two dropped chances were enough to start it.

Allan Donald had said that Gayle's 30-ball century left his Pune Warriors players scared. That was the first innings of the game and Gayle went after Warriors without a care in the world. This was a chase that began at nearly ten an over. Royal Challengers were not far away from getting into the Kings XI tail. Instead, within a few minutes, theirs was between their legs.

The more RP Singh caves in under pressure, the farther he seems from the bowler who shone briefly in India colours. The more Vinay Kumar bowls short with absent venom, the harder it seems to fathom how Praveen Kumar continues to get ignored.

Perhaps Royal Challengers were unlucky to run into Miller on the night he finally pulled off what he had been threatening to in the past couple of games. He had half-centuries in unsuccessful, but close, chases against the might of Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. He was Man of the Match when Kings XI chased 186 in Mohali against Warriors, coming in at 58 for 3 and blasting 80 off 41. It hadn't been all power-hitting, though. He'd also guided a modest, but tricky, chase against Delhi Daredevils with an unbeaten 34. In August last year, he almost single-handedly clubbed Yorkshire to the Friends Life t20 title.

Miller has this ability to hit boundaries in clusters. It can quickly unnerve the fielding side, as Royal Challengers found out. Not only does it make the bowlers lose their lengths and feed Miller, but the odd good delivery also gets taken for runs. There was nothing wrong with a shortish Ravi Rampaul ball on off, but amid all the straight sixes, Miller was able to wait on it and guide it very late past short third man. By the time RP Singh came on, Miller had hit the zone. When you can stand in the crease and drive a short of a length ball for six over long-off, you are really killing it. "Killer Miller" fittingly read a placard in the crowd.

It's been three years since Miller made his international debut for South Africa. Though always noted for his big-hitting, he is not exactly a regular yet. He wasn't part of the squad for the World Twenty20 last year but has made it to the Champions Trophy side in the absence of Jacques Kallis.

Tonight, he used his father's advice about hitting in the V to make a hundred in 38 balls and dedicated it to his cousin on her birthday. Yusuf Pathan took one delivery less to make one in 2010, an innings that drew extraordinary praise from his captain Shane Warne . Gayle took eight less to get one, and a cartoon suggested a radical new field setting, with players flying around quidditch-style on brooms to stop Gayle's monster sixes. That won't be out of place for Miller, too, only the area above the V would be crowded with flying brooms.

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (May 8, 2013, 16:48 GMT)

Kohli would have done well to admit his own fielding errors, instead of keeping on saying entire team's fielding was bad. Hell, he dropped a sitter.

That being said, the look on his face when he dropped it was hilarious. Guess he knew he had lost the match right there.

Posted by RajeshNaik on (May 8, 2013, 8:14 GMT)

What caught my eye in the article was the writer's comment 'The more Vinay Kumar bowls short with absent venom, the harder it seems to fathom how Praveen Kumar continues to get ignored". Well it was one such venom-less delivery that produced a top edge Kohli dropped. Every bowler has a bad day. So did Vinay Kumar in this match. This writer whom I love to call 'the quick comment man', seems to forget that Vinay and Bravo are the only ones who have picked up a wicket in every match in IPL6, thereby contributing in every match. This writer is always a bit harsh on Vinay. Whatever limited ability he has he is able to contribute to the team. He isn't great but works hard & delivers for his team. Is PK a hard worker? Is Irfan a hard worker? They are not. They have a skill (swing) which occasionally works wonders for them and unfortunately we remember only those 'wonder'ful moments. Whereas the foot soldiers who contribute in every match get ridiculed.

Posted by soumyas on (May 8, 2013, 6:07 GMT)

@amit1807kuwait, u r wrong abt Vinay kumar, in this match miller was hitting everyone, and in Vinay's bowling they dropped an easy catch. through out this IPL whenever batsmen tried to hit Vinay, he got their wicket. he is topping wicket list and he gets crucial breaks, he is one of Most valuable players for RCB too.

Posted by soumyas on (May 8, 2013, 6:03 GMT)

Teams who play RP SING, NEHRA, I PATAHN, DINDA never going to win IPL...

Posted by   on (May 8, 2013, 4:10 GMT)

after all one thing for sure and it clearly shown. in this type of attitude how will virat kholi lead the india. indian cricket team is not just 11 players, it's represent 6 billion people. in this type of attitude and immaturity he will never closer to MSD's calm and collectiveness. first of all he must be thrown his ego out of the window and learn to respect others.

Posted by   on (May 7, 2013, 23:52 GMT)

Miller de world boss...best in de world rite nw

Posted by amit1807kuwait on (May 7, 2013, 18:37 GMT)

Six Indian "quick" bowlers on show during this IPL - Nehra, Agarkar, Munaf, RP Singh, Dinda, and Vinay Kumar - have shown repeatedly how completely out of depth they are when it comes to showing they have some grey matter. And to think that all of them have played for India at some stage of their careers shows how shallow our cricketing reserves can be! I'd love to add Irfan and Sreesanth to this list, but in their cases at least skill was never in doubt!

Posted by Greatest_Game on (May 7, 2013, 18:07 GMT)

Miller made ODI & T20 debuts 3 years ago, but did not settle, his performance below par. Today, in IPL 6, he tops the averages, strike rate (+ 100 runs,) 50 and over scores, & is no. 8 in runs after just 7 games!

His IPL 6 ave is 117: his T20 ave 27. Why the disparity? Time observing, training with, & learning from superstars & journymen from varied cultures & countries changes a young man, educates, & matures him. Travel, training, & play become rhythmic, a match part of a schedule & not a do-or-die battle. After seeing giants stumble & debutants soar, walking out has not the tension & dread of failing country, but more the calm focus of a net session, facing bowlers no longer feared, finding form unhindered by fear.

For young players, the IPL's true value is that it is a great leveler: locals alongside legends, age teaching youth that success & failure are inevitable, & have equal value in the journey to unlock the mind & find fulfillment by trusting self to challenge the best.

Posted by WestIndianInDA on (May 7, 2013, 17:56 GMT)

@ SM Good for Miller that he was dropped on 41 otherwise they would not have won the match! Too bad for Captain Attitude Mr. Kohli.......he must have been watching a virgin in the heavens. If you can't defend a total of 190 then what is the point of some of these bowlers.....and when the Kohli realized he had cost RCB the match here comes Gayle to bowl an over that cost 22 runs. BS captaincy by a BS Captain Mr. Virat Kohli!

Posted by   on (May 7, 2013, 17:55 GMT)

I hope this is the fillip that kicks David Miller's international career into action.He has always looked upon as being a talent but in this knock he has become a sensation.Everybody in cricket circles is talking about it especially in India and South Africa.The IPL is brilliant in exposing new stars,throwing up the unexpected,dealing with pressure and playing in front of large crowds.Both Miller and Harris have done exceptionally.

Posted by   on (May 7, 2013, 17:37 GMT)

The silent killer is miller

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (May 7, 2013, 15:29 GMT)

Still didn't get over that knock. Rubbing my eyes, still. I think MI or Chennai will get him for whatever the price in the next auction if KXIP release him. But why will they release him in the first place? Wow! Just wow! And the rubbing of eyes continues..................

Posted by   on (May 7, 2013, 11:11 GMT)

Still seem to be unable to get over this knock. Amazing batsman!

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (May 7, 2013, 10:52 GMT)

Wait and watch Either MI will get him or he will fetch million dollar from other Franchises. @Wayne Perry what was even baffling was they SA did not even field Faf du plessis in their first games. He came with good knock against india although they marginally lost . If Miller and Faf were selected in all games it would have made huge difference.

Posted by   on (May 7, 2013, 10:43 GMT)

It would be great if there exists a stat-keeping called Mid-runs or End-runs for the Batsmen hitting record runs in any of the Consecutive number of balls (like 70+ runs of Miller's record hit comes from the last 20 balls)in their totals balls faced in addition to the current stat-keeping of 50 of 12 balls or 100 of 37 balls... A versatile Killer,Miller!!

Posted by   on (May 7, 2013, 10:01 GMT)

Good for Gayle that Miller isn't an opener, or that 175 would well have been under threat.

Posted by   on (May 7, 2013, 9:42 GMT)

The amazing inning by Miller. Kings XI have ability and they show it to every one...

Posted by StevieS on (May 7, 2013, 9:22 GMT)

What a sublime knock, perhaps the best IPL innings ever? Has Gale ever scored big runs chashing to win a game? Anyway it won't be long until he makes his England debut.

Posted by harshthakor on (May 7, 2013, 9:17 GMT)

David Miller's knock was the best innings ever in I.P.L.or in a t-20 run chase.Simply a cricket classic.It almost looked like a tornado had lit the stadium.Miller made the rest of the field look like pawns on a chess board.

Posted by TheUltimateTruth on (May 7, 2013, 9:00 GMT)

I wish David Miller all the success and hope to see many more of this. But I can't help wonder what happened to the hype that surrounded Y.Pathan when he made that amazing century. I hope Miller doesn't have too many obvious flaws in his batting as Pathan does and be "found out." Vinay Kumar takes wickets only because batsmen are more aggressive against him and that has a higher failure rate. But it comes at a big cost to RCB -- if I am an opposition with wickets in hand, I will win every time against Vinay Kumar and RP Singh.

Posted by TATTUs on (May 7, 2013, 8:57 GMT)

Well, who is his cousin! :P

Posted by SamAsh07 on (May 7, 2013, 8:40 GMT)

I don't see RCB going into the playoffs with fielding and bowling like this. In my opinion, the 4 teams will be CSK, MI, SRH and RR. Sorry KXIP you have a long way to go and I don't see you winning consistently from here on out, same goes for KKR Narine is magic no more, they can't win all their remaining games either. So CSK vs MI, RR vs SRH, and Final - CSK vs RR. Will be fun!

Posted by DingDong420 on (May 7, 2013, 8:37 GMT)

This was a better innings than Gayle's. On a bigger ground, against better bowlers and under much more pressure.

Well done MILLER

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (May 7, 2013, 8:35 GMT)

I'ts MILLER TIME........!!!!

Posted by Baseball-Sucks on (May 7, 2013, 8:19 GMT)

Gayle's innings was all about bullying n intimidating SELECTED bowlers or lets say less skilled bowlers and played under no pressure. But Miller Special was a fight for survival. Its sort of a Cinderella Story and THE BEST I've ever seen. Yesterday I had a Miller-Lite instead of my usual Bud-Light in honor of David Miller :P Its Miller Time............

Posted by   on (May 7, 2013, 7:56 GMT)

Mzansi for life!! We are so proud of you David. Now, go and get us that ICC Champions Trophy. It's long overdue.

Posted by Surajrises on (May 7, 2013, 7:46 GMT)

Killer Miller Murdered RCB last night. Kohli dropping that catch really proved very very costly indeed! Miller was only on 41 or 42 at that time I suppose and post that dropped catch, there was no looking back for Miller. The way Kohli panicked yesterday and the amount of heat he was showing to the bowlers, I really don't think that he should be India's future captain bcz hez a good batsman but a pathetic captain I believe.

Posted by KiranShiva on (May 7, 2013, 7:37 GMT)

This should be the best IPL Century till date. Its carved under pressure. Remember Kings XI would have been virtually out of the tournament if they had lost this one. Good to see the clean hitting by Miller. Way to go Kings XI.

Posted by   on (May 7, 2013, 7:37 GMT)

I logged out as did not expect Kings XI to win, but what i missed one of the most amazing and blazing innings by a Rookie of IPL.

Posted by   on (May 7, 2013, 7:30 GMT)

Under pressure, it was a better innings than Gayle. The look on Kohli's face was priceless when Miller hit a flat six! Truly awesome innings.

Posted by sarangsrk on (May 7, 2013, 7:29 GMT)

@TimeKiller..Not sure what respect for Vinay Kumar you are talking about. The guy bowls 125-135 with no swing/seam. I am still amazed at how he can take any wickets in IPL, leave alone international games. I would much rather pick Praveen Kumar anyday even if he plays half the games. Btw, you can't take anything away from Miller. Absolute brilliant hitting. Way to go,champ.

Posted by dopplewanger on (May 7, 2013, 7:18 GMT)

Just got this eerie insight that virat kohli might have dropped a spot in the playoffs when he jaw-breakingly let go killer miller on 41

Why this assertion?

RCB has just 4 matches left.

The 'pack' of RR,MI,SRH would love to push up the table and edge out RCB out of the top 4 . All three of them have not lost a single match yet on their home forts. All three of them are playing their immediate next match at home.

RCB have still got two away games and they just aren't loving any venue away from b'lore.

One is against KKR . Remember Gambhir got booed in B'lore after a little skirmish with Kohli . He would be baying for some blood in Ranchi. How quickly does Time turn sides.

Moreover , One of their home games is against the CSK ....... never easy against the yellow boys.

RCB had a marksheet of 6/8 a while back and RCB were making merry.

4 away matches later it is 7/12.

Correct me if I am incorrectly seeing a team breaking bad .........real bad.

Posted by AllInFairNess on (May 7, 2013, 7:14 GMT)

@TimeKiller, good joke. Vinay takes wickets which does not turn to victory for his team. Both Vinay and Dinda are worthless

Posted by   on (May 7, 2013, 7:05 GMT)

Miller showed over-hyped RCB bowlers their place. Truth is, RCB has been winning on the back of Gayle and to some extent De villiers.

Posted by THEBOSS on (May 7, 2013, 7:03 GMT)

Man that was some serious & brutal hitting last night...I cant imagine whether it was real or i was playing cricket video game..(I cant hit 99 in 5 overs in video game too ..hahahhah)..I would rate this as the best T20 IPL hundreads as it was during the chase..you can see the bowlers and fielders demoralized within 2 to 3 overs...

Posted by Rameesme on (May 7, 2013, 7:03 GMT)

Amazing innings by Miller who is the Killer of Kholi's Team...

Posted by priceless1 on (May 7, 2013, 7:02 GMT)

in almost every game at least one dolly been dropped by the Indian fielders but didn't make a huge impact to the out come of the game but today it did , i hope over sears players wont catch up this decease ....

Posted by Playfair on (May 7, 2013, 7:01 GMT)

Someone called him a slogger, thats just plain ignorance!! Thats the cleanest bit of hitting I have seen, and many more I assume, in a long time!!

Posted by KishorKumar25 on (May 7, 2013, 6:53 GMT)

Killer Miller is the new Klusner

Posted by   on (May 7, 2013, 6:51 GMT)

What a talent this from africa..Miller is the very workfull batsman for africa in champion trophy at england...

Posted by The-love on (May 7, 2013, 6:44 GMT)

Miller seems to be better version of Morgan.

Posted by   on (May 7, 2013, 6:41 GMT)

This is innings must be rated higher than gayle's 175 vs PWI as it came against a side that loses always. Miller's innings of 101(38) against a tough RCB side under pressure where punjab had just scored 64 of their 9.5 overs, he took the game to his hands and just broke through the RCB's bowling unit....Man he is definitely "Killer Miller" ...

Posted by GRVJPR on (May 7, 2013, 6:41 GMT)

Sloggers like Miller can only succeede in T-20. Just a good day for slogger. Not a test material/

Posted by Tapash on (May 7, 2013, 6:27 GMT)

Pujara's 51 from 48 and Kohli's 14 from 14 balls is the reason to lose match. I am confused if RCB can qualify to play-off.

Posted by Pathiyal on (May 7, 2013, 6:18 GMT)

that was an absolute killer innings from David Miller! i dont think anything was wrong about the RCB bowling, though.

Posted by TimeKiller on (May 7, 2013, 5:40 GMT)

Come on, stop bashing Vinay Kumar. He is the second highest wicket taker in this year's IPL and 5th highest overall. Remember his 4/30 against England in a ODI? Show some respect. Vinay takes wickets.

Posted by iamcd_pati on (May 7, 2013, 5:02 GMT)

this has to be rated higher than gayle's 175 because this was under xtreme pressure and from a hopeless situation to win the match single handedly was truely unbelievable

Posted by Top-Spinner on (May 7, 2013, 4:52 GMT)

No point in blaming Vinay. The way Miller was shredding the bowling even Praveen couldn't have survived the demolition derby. Praveen is a spent force and his 70 kmph puff balls are no match for players like Gayle, Miller or DeVilliers. It is time to look for young talent.

Posted by legend2402 on (May 7, 2013, 4:28 GMT)

we played against David Miller 2 years ago at our annual national club championships, he was playing for his club side, Crusaders CC, he had just been dropped by the national side and i wondered why? i always thought David could be our next big thing, but our selectors at the time never thought so! to come back to the reason why i am writing this, David barely got a run in the week and i thought he might give it up! Oh was i wrong, since then he has become a awesome player and i hope that he gets a extended run in the south african line up, its not like our 1 day side is any good!

Posted by cricconnossieur on (May 7, 2013, 4:24 GMT)

Vinay Kumar even played a test match in Australia, in the seamers-paradise-Perth, and got blasted out of the attack by Warner. But for the author to promote the case of Praveen Kumar is also far-fetched considering his shabby fielding nad shabby-just about everything. Stop looking at these 120kph-something swing bowlers , India has so many of them. I Pathan,Balaji,Munaf, RP Singh,Sreesanth,Unadkat,...

Posted by   on (May 7, 2013, 4:19 GMT)

Incredible knock! Gave me goosebumps! Great article!

Posted by Vivekaks on (May 7, 2013, 4:02 GMT)

Mr.Abhishek Purohit... i havent seen a better article than this in a really long while...wow!!! you just summed it up so well...the reference to Vinay kumar and the Tails between their legs ...:) coming back to the assessment of the match.. I live in bangalore and i have never been inclined to support RCB, for the sheer reason, they are so one dimensional... they just cant defend a total...Kohli might say chasing is their strength...he shud rather say...defending is their weakness....they have never been able to defend big totals...for they spend so much on batsmen that they forget, bowlers are key ingredients too... As much as they might deny Gayle and Devilliers not being the only match winners, they cant refute whats out there... Take Kohlis case...Rahul Dravid has probably the same record as Kohli, runs scored and strike rate...but Kohli is flashy and has one big knowfollowed by useless ones... RCB should invest in bowlers, for Gayle and ABD will flourish...Malya pay heed..

Posted by sandy_bangalore on (May 7, 2013, 3:02 GMT)

Vinay Kumar playing international cricket is Crickets biggest ever joke! No talent whatsoever, and gets creamed in every 2nd match he plays. How he gets paid multi millions is beyond the realms out of any sanes persons thinking!

Posted by Mfalme on (May 7, 2013, 2:45 GMT)

Fabulous article indeed. I loved the parts " rhyming threats to bowlers - V, tree, arc, park" and "Royal Challengers were not far away from getting into the Kings XI tail. Instead, within a few minutes, theirs was between their legs".

Posted by   on (May 7, 2013, 2:20 GMT)

David Miller's hitting ability has been known for a while now. English fans saw this last june for the T20 finals day. How South Africa didn't pick him in their T20 world cup squad last year i'll never know.

Posted by ccriccfan on (May 7, 2013, 1:27 GMT)

What a fabulous article! Rightly said about praveen kumar, Vinay kumar should be thrown out and praveen kumar should be given a chance; what a breath taking innings by miller. I guess IPL is more about foreign players and less about indians anymore!

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