Mohali: Kings XI Punjab star batsman David Miller credited his success in the Indian Premier League (IPL) to former South African all-rounder Lance Klusener.
Miller, 23, said he was fortunate to have the 41-year-old Klusener as his coach at the KwaZulu-Natal. Miller said it was Klusener, nicknamed Zulu, who helped him fine tune is skills.
"I've been fortunate to have Lance Klusener as my coach since the last season and he has played an immense part in nurturing the finishing aspect of batting. He's just helped me a lot with my confidence. Also, as I have been playing professional cricket, I have learnt a lot from the ex-players, trying to gather all the information and using it in my game. While chasing, there are these couple of things that I do," Miller said.
Miller, who has mastered the art of finishing games, said the key is to be calm.
"I've realised that even at the end of the innings, you've got more time that you think. Out there in the middle everyone sort of rushes and there's a lot of pressure around you. That's when you need to calm yourself down and believe that you have enough time on your hands," said Miller.
Miller said while chasing, he focusses on the number of balls, that gives him some confidence.
"What also helps me is looking at the number of balls rather than overs that are left - 60 runs from 36 balls sounds a lot easier mentally than 60 runs from six overs does. Another important thing is to practice in such a way that when the ball is in your hitting area, it must go. You will get such balls during the end overs of a chase because the bowlers are under pressure too. If you can hit out, that will release the pressure," he said.
Miller feels IPL could well be the turning points of his career.
"Yes, definitely. I have really enjoyed the opportunity to play for the franchise. For me personally, I've really enjoyed batting on the Indian wickets. It's a very different experience from what I've had back home in South Africa and you learn so much along the way. In 2011 I didn't get a game and the last year I only got six games. In IPL only four overseas players can play at a time," he said.
Asked about his big hitting skills, Miller said: "I think I've developed that along the way. Growing up I used to bat a lot higher up the order and so had to get through the new ball. Now that I've gone down into the middle-order, I've had to develop the stroke-play to adapt to the role."