IPL 2022: Champion Gujarat Titans revive the Marvelous Miller!

One of the few to last in the international setup from South Africa’s golden age of the 200s and early 2010s, belligerent middle-order batsman David Miller looks to have turned over a new leaf during the recently-concluded 2022 season of the Tata IPL. After enduring a torrid phase of his IPL career over the past several seasons, ‘Killer’ Miller was back at his marauding best for title winners Gujarat Titans.

Image Credits: Sportspicx.com

Miller had opened his international career for the Proteas back in 2010, announcing his arrival to the big leagues with defining strokeplay and a penchant for clearing the ropes with ease. Batting in an order with the likes of AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis and Hashim Amla, Miller carved out a niche for himself, playing himself into the role of designated finisher for the national side. Usually coming into bat at five or lower, he managed to maintain a good average of around 30 in limited-overs cricket while collecting runs at a heady rate. 2015 saw a rise in returns for the left-hander, as his average rose to over 45, and he had his best years for the Proteas in 2015-17.

The Indian Premier League has a way of being unapologetically crude in its treatment to the biggest of stars. Miller made a resounding entry to the league, chalking up 418, 446, and 357 runs in his second, third, and fourth years in 2013, 2014 and 2015, respectively, all of them coming at a quick clip, but a single year of the runs drying up in 2016 saw him getting benched by KXIP (now PBKS), the same team which had ridden his big-hitting exploits to the final in 2014. His numbers took a terrible hit in the ensuing years, what with him getting limited opportunities, and he was picked up by Rajasthan Royals at the 2020 auction. After yet another poor year in 2020, he was not allowed to face even a ball in 2021, and it seemed like the IPL had seen the last of Killer Miller.

It was not to be the case. New team Gujarat Titans turned a few heads at the 2022 mega auction by investing in a hitherto untried skipper in Hardik Pandya and limited star power. The floundering Miller was picked up too, under new management and in a great team environment, Miller’s willow found fresh respite. Assigned the familiar role of big-hitting finisher, Miller went berserk in the 2022 season and helped his team do one better than he could in 2014 as Gujarat went on to win the IPL in their maiden season.

Image Credits: iplt20.com

Miller had his best season of the IPL yet, scoring 481 well-crafted runs at a strike rate of over 140 and an average of 68.71, ending up sixth on the run-scorer’s list. GT has helped Killer Miller rediscover his touch, and his comeback story will inspire his teammates to do an encore next year on the back of his talismanic finishing acts. Stay Tuned with The Sportsway for more updates.

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