David Miller, South Africa’s most experienced T20 player, has backed new T20I captain Quinton de Kock to usher a fresh-looking South Africa side into a new era, starting with the first T20I against India on Sunday, September 15, in Dharamsala.
De Kock was appointed to the role after Faf Du Plessis had been sidelined from the T20 squad earlier this month, and Miller welcomed the move, heaping praise on de Kock’s tactical acumen.
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“He’s been around for many years, and he’s got an incredible cricket brain,” Miller said of de Kock on match eve. “Like I said, it’s exciting times – new skipper, new players and a lot of young, fresh faces.
“It’s been really good so far and we’ll see as it progresses how we go along. It’s really nice to be alongside him and supporting him in whatever role he wants me to do. Yeah, it’s been great so far and, hopefully, it continues.”
Miller, who holds the record for the fastest T20I century alongside Rohit Sharma and Czech Republic batsman Sudesh Wickramasekara, will himself play an important role at a time when South Africa are seeking to move on from the retirements from long-time stalwarts, such as AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla, and he embraces the responsibility.
“I feel playing for the country, there is always responsibility, regardless of whether you are less experienced or more experienced,” he said. “I mean, I have been playing for many years now and that responsibility has been with me for a couple of years now, and it’s really exciting.
“Like you said, it’s a young side and we’ve got a lot of energy amongst the squad. There are actually a lot of guys who have played a lot of cricket, in the A side and domestically. So, all of us are really, really experienced in each department and it’s just a great stepping stone.”
This would be South Africa’s first international assignment after their disappointing campaign at the 2019 World Cup, where they finished seventh among ten teams in the round-robin stage, with just three wins from eight completed games.
“Yeah, I think what happened at the World Cup is something to learn from, Miller said, hoping to set that right in the future. “We did a few things wrong and it [results] never came out the way we wanted. So we are lucky that it’s a new phase in South African cricket at the moment.”