IPL 2016 February 9, 2016

Kings XI Punjab appoint David Miller captain

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Miller blitzes his way to KXIP captaincy

Kings XI Punjab have named South Africa batsman David Miller captain for IPL 2016. Last year the team was captained by Australia's George Bailey, but the franchise had not retained Bailey this season.

Sanjay Bangar, Kings XI's coach, said Miller had the right temperament to lead. "I have watched David grow as a player. He has displayed outstanding batting abilities and a cool temperament in many high-pressure situations," Bangar said. "I am confident in his potential to lead the boys this season."

While he has little captaincy experience on the South African domestic circuit, Miller, 26, is a key batting cog in Kings XI's line-up. He has been with them since the 2011 season, signed in April 2011 as a replacement player for England allrounder Dimitri Mascarenhas.

In 2015, he was the only batsman to score more than 300 runs for them, hitting 357 at 32.45, with a strike rate of 134.21. It was a poor year overall for the team, which finished last in the league stage of the tournament. Ahead of the IPL auction this year, Miller was one of four overseas players retained - the others being Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Johnson.

Miller's appointment comes a few days after Kings XI appointed retired India batsman Virender Sehwag team mentor.

Squad: David Miller, Swapnil Singh, M Vijay, Wriddhiman Saha, Rishi Dhawan, Kyle Abbott, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Pardeep Sahu, Anureet Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Farhaan Behardien, Shardul Thakur, Mohit Sharma, Manan Vohra, Gurkeerat Singh, Axar Patel, Nikhil Naik, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Marsh, KC Cariappa, Armaan Jaffer

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  • Mr.CricketJKNotHussey on February 14, 2016, 11:15 GMT

    @D.S.A You are right, Marsh might be more experienced in general but Miller has played the T20 format a lot more, so maybe he's more experienced in that regard. I'd like to see Marsh open too. Maxwell can win a game single handedly. He isn't consistent enough to play as a top order batsman, but use him as a finisher to kill off games and you could get the best out of him. Let Marsh and Miller do the meat of the run scoring. Johnson could be lethal if he's on form but KXIP have a decent back up in Abbott. Gurkeerat barely has any international experience, not a good captaincy candidate. 1. M.Vohra, 2. S.Marsh, 3. W.Saha, 4. D.Miller, 5. G.Singh, 6. G.Maxwell, 7. A.Patel, 8. M.Johnson, 9. M.Sharma, 10. A.Singh, 11. S.Sharma. Mohit Sharma is the best Indian seamer in the team, has to play. Anureet and Rishi can compete with the spinners depending on the pitch. Vijay might also get a chance, either for Vohra or for Gurkeerat, pushing Marsh down to 3.

  • StarHawk on February 10, 2016, 2:29 GMT

    Not too sure how Killer Miller would do, since he is not a well known leader and I'm not sure if he has led any team even in SA domestic cricket. But, it's worth a try since Miller is one of the most senior & consistent players of Kings XI Punjab. It would've been really nice if Punjab bid for a player who has captaincy experience...someone like a Watson or even Indian players like Dinesh Karthik or Irfan Pathan.

  • Corridor-of-Certainty on February 9, 2016, 20:14 GMT

    Swapnil Singh is an interesting pick by Punjab and could turn out to be a trump card. He is likely to be the team's second-choice spinner (not the rookie Cariappa). I feel they are a spinner short in the squad and could have used an experienced one like Pragyan Ojha. There are not a lot of matchwinners in the team, so expect them to languish in the bottom three.

  • Dhirshan Gobind on February 9, 2016, 16:36 GMT

    Great captain. He will lead them to the title!

  • D.S.A on February 9, 2016, 16:18 GMT

    I disagree with this. Marsh is likely to be a better captain than him as he has played more cricket. He would also select himself as an opener, which is what should happen for the Kings XI Punjab. Also, he has been there since the start of the IPL. Maxwell and Johnson are complete wastes of time in general. They should have been released, to make other franchises uncompetitive instead. Alternatively, one Indian option is Gurkeerat Singh. He is from the state, and will get in the team at all times as a domestic all-rounder. Also, conversing with all players well is of great benefit, and Marsh and Miller simply cannot do that.

    My eleven: 1. M.Vohra, 2. S.Marsh, 3. W.Saha, 4. D.Miller, 5. G.Singh, 6. F.Behardien, 7. A.Patel, 8. R.Dhawan, 9. K.Abbott, 10. A.Singh, 11. S.Sharma.

    7 bowling options, 4 of which are very reliable, and it bats down to 8.

  • Mr.CricketJKNotHussey on February 9, 2016, 14:06 GMT

    Everyone criticizing this appointment, wait until you actually see him captain, on paper it makes sense. Miller's been at the club for 5 years, knows it inside out. Won't connect with the young Indian players? Maxi and Miller are two of the most outgoing and friendly people on the team, they are adored by the other players. Vijay has to sort out his limited overs form first, Maxwell needs to be free and Marsh is too timid. The only other viable options were Saha and Johnson but Miller is the most likely to play every game. People complaining about not buying Yuvraj, he is a terrible captain and we didn't need to spend that much on him. Why is everyone so negative about buying Mohit? He has been one of the best Indian seamers in the IPL, he can bowl at the death and is exactly what KXIP needed, hence the high price.

  • Scrop on February 9, 2016, 13:22 GMT

    Saha is a good captain. He did a commendable job for Bengal. It is an advantage to have Indian player as captain

  • Inferno792 on February 9, 2016, 13:16 GMT

    Maxwell would have made a better captain. What also would they benefit from making Maxi captain was give him some responsibility. He would have played freely as captain but with much more responsibility. Also, Miller if gonna have a tough time leading the Aussies. He's lucky that the ones in the team are pretty down to earth or he might have been struggling even more leading guys like Warner.

  • avirup011 on February 9, 2016, 12:27 GMT

    Vijay should be the captain...

  • Harman__0812 on February 9, 2016, 12:20 GMT

    Excellent T20 batsman but unsure of his abilities to lead a side. KXIP management looks very perplexed. Again they look very much dependent on Magnificent Maxi. They need solid middle order indian batter along side Maxi and Miller. Behardien's selection is quite strange. Mohit Sharma going for 6.5 Cr looks absurd too.

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