South Africa’s in-form batter David Miller sees Pakistan’s misfiring top-order as an area to exploit for his bowling attack and put the middle-order under pressure ahead of Thursday’s important Group 2 clash in the T20 World Cup at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Pakistan has mostly relied on the opening pair of captain Babar Azam and wicketkeeper Muhammad Rizwan to get a huge chunk of their runs with the bat. But the duo haven’t been able to score big runs though Rizwan top-scored with 49 in Pakistan’s win over Netherlands at Perth while Azam’s tally in the tournament reads as 4, 4 and 0.
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“I think it is an area 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.
“It’s by all means not just going in there and expecting to get them out first ball or early up. We’ve got to work really hard for every wicket, and hopefully we can get them early and put the Pakistan middle order under pressure a little bit earlier than later," said Miller in the pre-match press conference.
With Pakistan needing wins in their favour to have a slim chance at entering the semifinals, Miller insisted that South Africa, the Group 2 table-toppers, are taking the challenge coming from Pakistan very seriously.
“We all know every game in the World Cup is an important game, and against Pakistan you’ve got to make sure that you’re on your A-game as an opponent, so just making sure that we’re sticking to our processes and what has worked in the past to implementing it tomorrow.
“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 it’s a must-win game for them, so they’re going to be coming and charging, and we’re definitely prepared for it."
In their last match, South Africa’s four-man pace attack, led by Lungi Ngidi’s fantastic 4/29 and Wayne Parnell’s 3/15, made excellent use of pace and extra bounce on a typical Perth pitch to keep India to 133/9, which was chased down with five wickets in hand.
Miller, who was unbeaten on 59 in the successful chase against India, pointed out that the bowling attack feels confident of doing well due to the conditions on offer in Australia. “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.
“It is nice to have someone like Marco (Jansen) sitting on the bench and having him as reserve. I mean, it’s a healthy environment to have. I think the guys are in a good space, and again, just one game at a time and trying to sort of stick to the process and stay in the moment."
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