Miller looking forward to batting with Stokes


South Africa batsman David Miller is looking forward to linking up with Rajasthan Royals’ impressive collection of overseas professionals including England superstar Ben Stokes.

In a squad that also includes Jos Buttler and Steve Smith, Miller picked out fellow left-hander Stokes as the man he most wants to partner in the middle.

Miller craves Stokes connection

“I think overseas we’ve got some world-class players, so I’m really chuffed to be rubbing shoulders alongside them. 

“To bat with Ben Stokes would be great fun, and I know the way he plays the game. He’s a match-winner, he’s dynamic, so to share the crease with him would be great,” Miller told ESPNCricinfo.

Miller says that he isn’t planning on using the IPL as any sort of T20 World Cup warm-up but rather taking the experience as it comes and enjoying the unique atmosphere of the tournament.

“Whether the T20 World Cup comes up or not is irrelevant. For me it’s about building relationships,” Miller adds.

“IPL has a huge space for that, where overseas players can get to know each other on a personal level. 

“Whether we get into the Australian or English dynamics of how they go about their cricket, that’s still to be found out. Right now it’s more about making good friends and building relationships.”

Hoping for more game-time

Miller, who holds the record for the fastest T20 International century, puts his poor form in recent IPL’s down to not getting regular games with the Kings XI Punjab.

The Proteas finisher feels that his best is yet to come and is looking forward to pressing for a place in the Royals XI.

“I haven’t been playing. The last couple of years I haven’t been playing for Kings XI. I suppose that’s one of the reasons why I haven’t been winning games as well,” Miller said when asked to account for his struggles in recent IPL tournaments. 

“But in terms of consistency, I feel I’m better than ever before. I’m a lot more experienced now. I know what I’m expected to do. 

“On the international stage, I feel like I’m doing really well. In the IPL I had one bad season for Kings XI – and when I say bad season, it wasn’t as good as the previous ones that I had. 

“It wasn’t a horrific season, to say the least. In the IPL there are only four overseas players [in the playing XI], and there are often seven to ten overseas players in the squad. There will always be players who are going to miss out, and if you happen to not have a great run, you sort of lose that position and you just don’t play. I missed the boat the last couple of years in terms of playing and I think it’s created a thing that I’ve not been playing well. The games that I’ve played in, I have contributed.

“I feel I’m very experienced, very well put together in my mind and a lot calmer. 

“I’m still learning – everyone learns along the way. I’m certainly very excited about the latter part of my career and really looking forward to putting on some big performances. I’ve certainly got a lot to offer.”

Miller is in the UAE with the Royals squad who expect Stokes, Smith, Buttler and Jofra Archer to arrive after the conclusion of the ODI series between England and Australia.

The Rajasthan Royals play their first match in the 2020 edition of the IPL on Tuesday 22 September against Chennai Super Kings.