South Africa are well-placed in Group 2, with two wins in three games. The only game that they couldn’t find a win was against Zimbabwe, where they were well placed for two points before rain played spoilsport. But putting aside the weather, this core group for South Africa has been one of the successful ones in world cricket.
Coming into the tournament, the Proteas were one of the favourites to win the title. And, the trend has continued, with their win over India, making them firm favourites, alongside New Zealand. One of the stalwarts of the current setup, David Miller, insisted that it is very difficult to be successful in a format like T20, and reckoned that they have done pretty well.
“Yeah, it's difficult to be successful in this format, as there's a lot of different kind of variables, but we've managed to do well and play as a team,” Miller said ahead of the clash against Pakistan.
“I suppose if the batters are doing their job, then the allrounders and bowlers, we don't really need them to bat,” he added.
One of the major reasons for the Proteas being favourites is the pace attack that they have in their disposal. Miller opined that the bowling unit has come into their own, bursting with energy over the past year.
“Yeah, definitely, especially being in Australia with the conditions that we've got here. Our pace attack has done great things over the years, and we've managed to, like I said, for the last year, the squad has sort of come into their own, especially as a bowling unit. The guys are bowling with great energy, a lot of pace, and that's what we need here in Australia,” he reckoned.
“It is nice to have someone like Marco sitting on the bench and having him as reserve. I mean, it's a healthy environment to have.”
On Pakistan and his own form
On their upcoming opponents, Pakistan, Miller reckons that they are taking the Asian side very seriously, and insisted that they will try to put utmost pressure on their top-order.
“Pakistan are a great team, and they've got some serious match winners, but, we've just got to take it as it comes, and definitely the boys are up for it, and then I suppose Pakistan -- it's a must-win game for them, so they're going to be coming and charging, and we're definitely prepared for it,” Miller said.
“I think it is an area (over-reliance on openers for Pakistan) to exploit. This game is all about confidence, and yeah, they haven't probably performed the way they've wanted to, but they're world-class players, and we're expecting them to come out and bring their A-game and be up for the challenge.”
Miller has been one of the consistent stars for the Proteas side over the last year, with 344 runs at 68.8 and a strike-rate of 170.3. Not just that, Miller has walked into the long international season on the back of some scintillating show for the Gujarat Titans in the IPL, where he scored 481 runs in the 16-match season.
“Yeah, I mean, it has been a good ride the last year, year and a half. For me personally, I just try to draw back on past experiences. I feel like experience is a really valuable thing, and for example, on the previous game, we were in a little bit of trouble, a lot of pressure to win the game, obviously, and it's just about slowing the process down, understanding what is required right now,” he adds.
“I feel like in the past we maybe could have got a little hasty. I really struggled up front whereas Aiden was playing really well. So there was a lot of dot balls, and you can get a bit edgy and try and just counterattack as such. So I just try to slow myself down and realise that if I get through this period, the partnership is way more important than me just going out and giving my wicket away.”
While not in the context of things, Miller also spoke highly of the 19-year-old Dewald Brevis, who stormed the cricketing scene yet again with a 57-ball 162. Miller reckons that the youngsters time is around the corner for international cricket.
"Yeah, to do that in any format or any level of cricket is something special. He (Dewald Brevis)definitely has shown what he's capable of. He's a huge talent, and we all know that. He is still very young, so putting performances like that back at home is what is needed, and I don't think it's going to be long until we see him playing for South Africa.