Backing David Miller to carry his confidence from the IPL to the away series against India, South Africa white-ball skipper Temba Bavuma said he is open to having a conversation with the southpaw regarding his batting position in the national T20 team.
Miller enjoyed a fabulous IPL season with the bat where he was a vital cog in the Gujarat Titans team that went on to win the title in its maiden season.
“It’s always nice to see guys in form. A guy like David lifting the trophy with the Gujarat Titans – the confidence that he will bring into the team, we look forward to that,” Bavuma told reporters at the pre-departure press conference on Tuesday ahead of the series against India.
“David has performed exceedingly well at the IPL and I’m sure that will do a world of good for his confidence and whatever feelings of insecurity that might be there.
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“The conversations that I have had with David, he has never expressed those types of feelings to me. David is still an integral member within our team and we trust his performances will continue well into the future,” he added.
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The big-hitting Miller has struggled to score runs in the limited overs format with the national team in the past few years.
But batting mostly at number five, as opposed to his usual six with South Africa, in the IPL this season, Miller scored 481 runs with the best average in the competition of 68.71 at a strike rate of 143.
“In terms of him batting a bit longer, that has always been the conversation over the years when David has done well. He understands where he fits in within the team.
“If he feels he can add more value in a different position, a conversation can be had in that regard.
“There is no way we are going to stifle him or restrict David in any manner. That’s how we try to treat all the players. We try to set them up in positions where they can succeed and make strong plays for the team.” Talking about another South African Dewald Brevis who had a decent outing in the IPL for the Mumbai Indians, Bavuma said the youngster should be given “time and the space to hone his game” before being pushed into international cricket.
“In all fairness to him, he hasn’t played a first-class game. In terms of expectation but also allowing the boy to grow within his game, it would be fair to allow him to play a couple of first-class games where he can really get an understanding of his game,” he said.
“It will be a lot of pressure to throw him into the international set up and expect him to make plays. He will be treated like any other exciting young prospect that comes onto the scene.
“He should be given time and the space to hone his game within the system and ease into the international side of things.” South Africa are set to take on India in five T20Is, starting from June 9 to 19.
The hosts will be without several key players. While regular skipper Rohit Sharma and senior players Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah have been rested for the five-match series, Deepak Chahar, Ravindra Jadeja and Suryakumar Yadav have been ruled out because of injuries.
But Bavuma still expects it to be a competitive series.
“Even though India are resting their main players, it will still be a competitive series. The guys in that squad can walk into the Indian team.”