Bolstered by their back-to-back wins against India, South Africa batsman David Miller says his team is all pumped to make a clean sweep of the three-match T20 series.
“I think it is a massive point. We are 2-0 up and are determined to make it 3-0. As you say, momentum and confidence is a big thing in international cricket. I think, our preparations have been really good. We’ve been trying to check all the boxes and hopefully we come out on top on Thursday,” said Miller on the eve of the third and final T20 International.
“To be honest, its a great feeling to be coming to Kolkata 2-0 up in the series. The series win is really big. We came here with a lot of expectations to do well, we have put a lot of pressure on us to perform.
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“India are an amazing T20 side with huge players. It gives us a lot of confidence moving forward coming close to the World Twenty20,” said the hard-hitting batsman.
“We are playing against England and at the end of the year in Australia. We just need to take as much confidence as we can moving forward. It has been a huge confidence booster.”
South African key batsman AB de Villiers did not come for the practice on Wednesday and Miller said it was not much of an issue.
“It is an optional practice. Some players have taken a day off. It has been a long week. We have had some intense games, a lot of practice and travelling. I hope AB does play. We will see on Thursday.
“As supposed to what is going to happen, I am not very sure. Maybe resting a few guys but I have got no idea about that as well.”
The general pattern is to practice in the evening if the match is a night affair. Why morning practice?
“To be honest, we have been given that slot. I am not sure how the logistics work on practice scheduling. I have been told to be ready at 9 am in the morning and I made sure I was not late for the bus.”
Dhoni was suggesting that home matches during this time of the year should start earlier to negate the dew factor but Miller said: “To be honest, I don’t know what to say. The games are given to us at 7 pm. The dew factor is bit of an issue. But to fair, it has been the same to both teams. I think there isn’t too much of an issue.”
Miller further said their exposure in IPL has helped South Africans players immensely.
“It makes a massive difference. We have come out on top against India. I think the IPL has helped not only the foreign players but the younger guys from India as well.
“It’s an unbelievable tournament, it has given opportunity to a lot of players. It also definitely helped South African getting used to the conditions in India. We are feeling a lot more at home,” he added.
Asked whether he prepared especially for the sub-continent conditions, he said: “Personally, I don’t really do anything more to prepare for sub-continental conditions. The only difference here is the bounce in the wickets.
“You have to get adjust to it as quickly as possible. The longer the format, the more the spin comes into play.
“The biggest thing for me is the mental side of it. Just to try and have the right mindset to play in the sub-continent.”
Miller said they’re looking forward to more such dismissals with a smaller boundary at Eden Gardens.
“Here in Kolkata being a smaller boundary, there’s going to be a lot less twos and more ones. It’s a ground where there can be run-outs. A little fumble here and there when batters going for a two may just give a chance. Hopefully we can see some more run-outs tomorrow,” Miller, who ran Rohit Sharma out with a direct throw, said.
South Africa broke India’s back with two run-outs of
On his direct hit dismissal of Rohit, Miller said: “I’ve not been hitting the stumps for a while, I keep coming only close. I picked up the ball and just tried to throw the stumps down.
“It’s nice to get a run out and at that time, it was a big wicket. The little moments like that is what we need as a team in the T20s, ODIs and Tests.”
“To be honest, in the build up to the series, we’ve been working really hard on our fielding. We proud ourselves in the field. It’s just looking at the venue and a day before the game we find out from where its easy to throw etc. A lot of times in India, you can throw it to the keeper in one bounce because the grounds are hard. We just got to asses that situation.”