Devastating South Africa batsman David Miller believes Kings XI Punjab have built a strong squad capable of winning its maiden Indian Premier League title this year.
The Punjab outfit, who have only once qualified for the knockout stage in the six editions of the event, made smart buys in the players auction of IPL 7 after retaining only Miller and 20-year-old uncapped Indian player Manan Vohra.
“It is exciting to have a different group of players. Overall, the squad looks more than capable to win the title. We have been training hard from the past four-five days and are getting to know each other,” Miller told PTI from Abu Dhabi on the eve of King XI’s opening match against two-time champions Chennai Super Kings.
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Miller, who made waves after smashing 101 off 38 balls against Royal Challengers Bangalore last year, will play a key role in deciding the fortunes of Kings XI, which also have the likes of Virender Sehwag, Cheteshwar Pujara, Mitchell Johnson, Glen Maxwell and captain George Bailey.
Having all-rounders like Rishi Dhawan and Sri Lanka’s Thisara Perera gives the Punjab side good options even though their spin department doesn’t look as potent with 37-year-old Murali Kartik being their most experienced tweaker.
Miller, however, feels that the depth in batting and fast bowling is enough to bail the team out in tough situations.
“Look, it is really cool to have so many good players around. I have been discussing a lot of cricket with Sehwag and Bailey too comes across as a man of wisdom. Now the challenge is to gel well together in a short time. It was only last night that all of us went out for desert safari,” said the 24-year-old from Pietermartizburg.
Asked how he feels about his game and whether he has tried to invent any innovative stroke in the nets of late, the big hitting Miller comes up with a witty reply.
“Well I am actually working on my forward defence,” he quipped before getting serious.
“Actually, the focus is just to spend a lot of time in the nets and try hitting every ball besides doing the usual drills.”
Though he had a quiet World T20 in Bangladesh, Miller is a regular for South Africa in the shorter formats of the game after making his international debut in May 2010.
Even though Miller is yet to make his debut in Test cricket, he said he was in no hurry.
“I have not set any timeframe for making my Test debut. The childhood dream was to play for South Africa and that has happened. I just want to take it as it comes and toil further in domestic cricket. And hope I get to play Tests sometime in my career,” he signed off.