Proteas drummer David Miller speaks to the media during a virtual press conference from the team’s camp in India on Tuesday. Photo: Getty Images

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Hard-hitting South African hitter David Miller is the most capped and experienced player in the T20 format, but he says he still gets nervous every time he jumps over the ropes to represent the Proteas.

The 32-year-old has made 95 appearances in the shortest format and could become the first South African to reach the 100 milestone at the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.

The Proteas, who are currently in India for a five-match T20 series that begins on Thursday and ends June 19, are expected to play a minimum of 10 T20 matches ahead of the World Cup in October and November.

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“Actually, I didn’t know that. Hopefully I play every game here and reach my 100th on this tour,” Miller said Tuesday from India when reminded of his upcoming milestone.

“It’s been a long time, I have to be honest. I always wanted to play for my country growing up, but you never quite understand how much you have to sacrifice to make it happen. Miller said:

Looking back on my career, I never dreamed of playing so many games for my country. It’s an honour, but I’m always nervous as games approach.

Miller, from Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal, was one of the stars for the Gujarat Titans en route to their first IPL title – also Miller’s first title – last week.

He clubbed 481 runs at an intimidating strike rate of 142.72 to underscore his reputation as one of the world’s most destructive finishers in shot-stop cricket.

After almost two months at the IPL, Miller opted not to return home until the trip to India. Instead, the southpaw traveled to the Maldives where he was able to take his feet off for two days.

He says he feels recharged and ready to carry the Proteas team on his shoulders against India, in conditions where he was imperious a few weeks ago.

“Physically I feel good and fresh and ready to go. I had a two day break in the Maldives and it was good for the spirit. But, I’m back in the swing now and I really feel good.

Miller said winning the IPL was the highlight of his career. He said:

Scoring the number of runs I made and closing out a few games for the team was something I looked forward to before the IPL.

“Hitting in the middle order, you want to finish games and so I’m proud of that. It was good to check that box. Along with that, succeeding as a team and winning the trophy was definitely a highlight.

“Watching this series against India, I want to do the same thing. That’s been my goal for many years now, trying to win games for the team, enjoying space and experience, and build a strong team.

Although Miller has always been a top quality finisher, he hasn’t done so consistently for his national team. “I think by being there for a long time, you develop, grow and mature. I think it’s about understanding my game better.

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There are a lot of negative thoughts going through my head, but I think with the experience I have accumulated, I handle pressure much better and I think much more clearly.

“There’s no pressure or extra weight on my shoulders. I feel like in every international match I’ve been in, whether senior or junior, there’s always a sense of pressure. .


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