South African middle-order batter David Miller has opened up about his productive time in IPL 2022 with the bat ahead of the T20 series against India. Miller noted that closing out games on multiple occasions was one of the highlights for him in the tournament.
Miller was highly instrumental in the Gujarat Titans' (GT) title-winning campaign in their inaugural season. The Proteas middle-order batter starred with 481 runs in 16 games, averaging a healthy 68.71 with two fifties.
The southpaw maintained a strike rate of 142.72 throughout the competition.
Speaking to SA Cric Mag, Miller stated that he achieved his objective of finishing games for his side in the IPL as he prides himself on it.
The 32-year-old conceded that winning the final was the icing on the cake and that he was looking forward to doing the same against India.
"Obviously, scoring the amount of runs I did and closing out a couple of games for the team in the IPL was something that I looked forward to before the tournament. Batting in the middle-order, you always do want to finish off games. So I do pride myself on that and it was nice to tick that box.
"Along with that, being successful as a team and winning the trophy was definitely a highlight. Looking into this series now, I want to do much the same. That's been my objective and goal for many years now to try and win games for the team.
"Really enjoy the space that I'm in along with the experience we have with the guys. We've been playing for a couple of years together and building up a strong team."
He also reflected on the workload during the IPL season and believes a short break in the Maldives has made him feel good to go again, adding:
"It's been quite challenging, obviously. Two months of IPL, been quite busy, lot of games, but I feel really really good in the last couple of years on my physical side of things.
"I feel good to go, fresh, ready to go. I had a two-day break in Maldives and it was pretty good for the mind. But yeah, back into the swing of things and really feeling good to go."
Miller's knock of 68 off 38 balls against RR in Qualifier 1 was memorable as he smashed three sixes off the first three deliveries of the final over to fire the Titans into the final.
"No extra pressure or weight on my shoulders" - David Miller
When asked whether expectations following his stellar IPL performance added pressure, Miller said he has always carried pressure while playing for South Africa.
However, he admitted to having learnt to deal with it better with experience and is delighted to share any knowledge with Proteas skipper Temba Bavuma & Co.
"No extra pressure or weight on my shoulders. Every international game I've played, regardless of responsibility, regardless of being senior or junior, there's always a sense of pressure. So, I don't think it changes at all. As I mentioned, with the experience that I have now, I deal with that a lot better so.
"It's quite a nice feeling to know that I've been at the IPL for so many years, and can impart knowledge on to Temba and the team. But saying that, there's few other guys who have also played in the IPL. So, as a team, we've got a lot of experience in the changeroom and it's a good place to be in."
The first India-South Africa T20I is set to be played on June 9 (Thursday) in Delhi.