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Prajakta Pawar in Mumbai 31 May 2014 - 01:45am IST

Sehwag is a phenomenon: Miller

KXIP batsman says watching Sehwag was special for him and his career

Table toppers of Pepsi Indian Premier League 2014, Kings XI Punjab and former champions, Chennai Super Kings, were pegged against each other in a do-or-die clash at Wankhede Stadium, with a spot in the Final at Bangalore at stake. In this high-scoring contest, KXIP triumphed.
Virender Sehwag played a vintage magical innings to set up the game in KXIP’s favour, while David Miller struck a 19-ball 38 to set the opposition a formidable target. The KXIP opener’s century and captain George Bailey’s direct hit to effect the run-out of the on-song Suresh Raina (87 off 25 balls) helped Mohali franchise win.

After the 24-run victory over CSK, Miller spoke to IPLT20.com about the veteran opener’s whirlwind knock that took the KXIP into their first IPL Final. 

Excerpts from his interview:

KXIP has reached the Final for the first time.

It is a very special moment. A lot of guys did a lot of hard work. Probably, this was the perfect performance that we could have had in a Qualifier. I am really ecstatic to be in the Final. It is always a special thing to be in a Final no matter what tournament it is. The IPL is just really good.

What was the wicket like with both teams scoring over 200 runs on it?

It was really good wicket; it was true and it came through nicely. So, if you get yourself in, you can just play your natural game. Suresh Raina played phenomenal cricket there; so hats off to him. CSK put forth a really good effort, but it was just Sehwag’s night.

How would you describe Sehwag’s knock today?

Speechless! It was phenomenal to stand once again on the non-striker’s end and watch him perform like that. It was the probably the best seat in the house. So it was really special for me and my career.

What has spending time with someone who is one of the biggest hitters in the game been like for you?

Honestly, it’s been a true privilege. You always hear a lot of things about people until you meet them, and Sehwag has been a phenomenal man. I have really learnt a lot from him and just the way he goes about things; he has been a humble man and very generous and really good to the younger players.

What batting tips have you picked up from him?

He strikes me as fearless. He plays his natural game no matter what the situation. He just backs himself 100 percent.

With Sehwag and Glenn Maxwell coming into the KXIP team this season, and being in the form that they are in, what is your role in the line-up?

Probably, a more supportive role this season, to be honest. Just been really good to sit back and just watch Maxwell clear the ropes so many times and then just to finish off what Sehwag starts was really special. So, it is more of a supportive role. And then, when I feel comfortable to swing the willow, I do it.

How do you adapt to playing around others after being a big hitter yourself?

I think it comes with experience. I am enjoying my cricket at the moment and it takes a lot of pressure off me when they are hitting on the other side. It is not really that difficult to adapt, but it is just that it helps to go along and do what you do.

Would you say fielding made a lot of difference in today’s match?

Yes, I think so. There was a lot of pressure after the first six overs. George Bailey running out Raina was important. We always need something special in any game, and that was just superb.

Would you say that was the turning point?

Definitely, the turning point. Thereafter, the spirits were high; we needed someone to do something to stop Raina. Thank God, it was the captain leading from the front. And it was phenomenal to see the body language being lifted after and also the good energy (following that run-out).

What would you say has been the difference between last year and this one?

The players themselves are really taking the responsibility. There are certain roles that the guys have been performing, and they going through with their roles and trusting that others guys will do their jobs as well.

Your thoughts on coach Sanjay Bangar and captain George Bailey’s roles

They are a great combination. They have been doing really well. Sanjay has been good in what he has done. There is still one more game to go, which we have to win. There are a lot of things we would love to achieve.

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