By Velile Mnyandu

 

Proteas star batsman David Miller is talking about a new chapter and not focusing on the past disappointments in World Cups ahead of their opening game at the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday. Speaking to the South African media in a virtual press conference earlier today, Miller said they are looking to reset the clock in this year’s tournament and shrug off the chokers tag that has always been associated with the Proteas.

 

The Proteas find themselves in a tough Group 1 alongside Australia, West Indies, England and two qualifiers who are yet to be confirmed.

 

Also putting pressure on this young team, is the record of not having played in a World Cup final of any format, dating back to the 1999 disappointment of the 50-over game semi-final loss to Australia in England.

 

Most notably in the T20 World Cup, the Proteas also fell short in the semi-finals in, losing to Pakistan in 2009 and to India in 2014.

 

A veteran of three T20 World Cups, Miller has seen it all and in the current squad is one of the most qualified players to react about this choker’s tag for the Proteas.

 

“I genuinely don’t really like to overthink the past in the sense of taking on baggage and stuff like that. The famous old saying, is you only as good as your next game. Or they normally say your last game, but (Hashim Amla) always said to me your next game. So I think it’s about resetting the clock, the mind everything and just sort of trying to control really be in the present.

 

“And I think that’s something that we’ve really spoken about is just, preparing really well. And yes, there’s a lot of chat about the past and this and that, but it’s really about just controlling what we can think of in the moment. And it’s very cliché, but it really does help If you reset the clock and you just prepare really well and you control each game as it comes.

 

“It’s a difficult one to win a World Cup, I mean only one team can win realistically so things got to go your way and yes in the past maybe things haven’t gone our away and certain areas but it’s not something that we are shying away from. We realize it’s a great opportunity to change our lives really as players, as a team,” said Miller as he addressed questions about Proteas’ past.

 

Despite coming to this tournament minus the talents of veteran campaigners in the shorter game format like Faf du Plessis and AB De Villiers, Miller also doesn’t believe that the team which is led by Temba Bavuma is short in experience.

 

“I feel like, there’s been a lot of chat maybe about an inexperienced team but I see it as a great opportunity where we’ve got a huge amount of experience actually in our team. We’ve got experienced players who have traveled all the way around the world, played in many different competitions even inexperienced as such international players have played a lot of domestic cricket and very experienced in that department,” concluded Miller.

The Proteas play their opening game in the T20 World Cup against Australia on Saturday at the Sheik Zayed stadium in Abu Dhabi from 12:00.

 

Twitter: @Velile_Mnyandu

 

 

 

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