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As his team underwent a substantial overhaul at the 2014 IPL Player Auction, David Miller remained one of the very few constants in the Kings XI Punjab camp. The young South African was often the lone warrior of KXIP in the last IPL as they lacked depth in batting firepower.
However, in the first match of this IPL season, Miller was more than happy to play second fiddle with a fine unbeaten 54 off 37 balls, as Glenn Maxwell (95 off 43 balls) inspired the team to an exhilarating and incredible win over CSK, chasing down a mammoth 205.
In a chat with iplt20.com, Miller was all smiles as he excitedly spoke about his new team-mates. He enthused when talking about sharing the dressing room with Virender Sehwag and told us what he wants to learn from the Nawab of Najafgarh.
Here are excerpts from his interview:
Perfect start to the new season?
Oh, yes! It was a huge target, but the way Maxwell played was unbelievable. It was thrilling to watch.
As one of the very few constants in the team, how have you reacted with all the changes around you?
It has been a big change from the last year. Many new players have come in and we also have a new captain. We have gotten to know each other and will come closer as time goes. It is very exciting to have the new guys to share the dressing room with.
There is a whole bunch of young cricketers in that change room in you, Maxwell, Marsh, Pujara, etc. Does having so many likeminded youngsters help bond the team better?
I think so. They say that youth brings fearlessness and enterprising qualities into a team. I think we saw a glimpse of that in the way we pulled off the tough chase. It is easier to bond with guys your age, but having said that, we also have players like Sehwag and Bailey, who bring knowledge and experience with them.
Talking of Sehwag, have you had the chance of picking his brain yet?
I am doing it gradually. He has been one of my heroes and there’s so much one can learn from him. One thing I would really like to imbibe from him is his courage of conviction. Over the years, he has been so consistent with the way he approaches his game and prepares for it. He has such strong self-belief that it doesn’t matter what anyone says about his game. He has achieved greatness on his own terms.
Chennai Super Kings will be smarting from the loss against Kings XI Punjab in Abu Dhabi, after scoring 205 runs. However, one cannot overlook the sensational batting performance by their brand new pair of opening batsmen – Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum. Both, playing their first match for CSK, combined to post an opening stand of 123 runs in 76 balls, which eventually took the team past 200.
The best part of the partnership was the ease with which the two batsmen complemented each other. We, at iplt20.com, spoke to one half of the pair, Smith, right after the match. He told us that he and his partner go a long way. Smith, the former Mumbai Indian, also spoke of the drastic change at the other end of his crease – from Sachin Tendulkar to Brendon McCullum.
Here are excerpts from his interview: Not a good start for the team but you must be pleased with your debut for CSK.
It was unfortunate that we lost, but it was a good debut for me. I love the team culture here at CSK. The dressing room atmosphere is very energetic and positive. I am sure I will love playing for this team. From opening with Tendulkar to now opening with McCullum. What’s the difference?
Oh there’s a huge difference. It was obviously a privilege to play with Tendulkar and batting with Bazz is fun too. I really love what Bazz brings to the table. The good thing is that we are very similar batsmen; we both like to hit big and play attacking cricket. We spoke before the game and he told me, ‘Dwayne, if we bat together for 10 overs, the team will be in an excellent position.’ Does your game change much depending on who you open with?
I make sure it doesn’t change. There’s no point letting your game get influenced by your partner’s game because then you will not be the player the team picked you for. I like to be positive in my approach and stick to my game, irrespective of who I am batting with.
You and Brendon didn’t look like you were opening the batting together for the first time. Clicked at once?
We opened the batting for the first time, but we did play together for Sussex in England. That familiarity helped us construct this partnership today because we know each other’s strengths very well. With you, Smith, Faf, Raina, Dhoni and Bravo, there is immense firepower in CSK’s batting. Who plays the anchor if the team loses early wickets?
There is a lot of firepower there for sure. But the best thing is that most of these players are capable of dropping anchor when the team needs. I genuinely think any of us can play that role of steadying the innings if required. Do you think you are the quietest and most sober cricketer to come from West Indies? Planning to change that in Dwayne Bravo’s company?
Oh, that’s what people see of me – the quiet and sober guy. Actually, I, like any West Indian, like to have fun and enjoy myself.