Ken Borland
Sports Journalist
2 minute read
10 Feb 2021
3:01 pm

Playing in a bubble is ‘restricting’, says Miller, but Proteas are ready to let loose

Ken Borland

As a team with just 218 T20 International caps between them, the Proteas acknowledge they are the underdogs.

David Miller during a Proteas training session. Picture: Gallo Images

David Miller is an outdoor kind of guy, so being confined to his Lahore hotel room is taking a bit of getting used to, and on the field of play the 31-year-old says the lack of bounce on the Gaddafi Stadium pitch is going to be the main thing the Proteas have to adapt to in their T20 series against Pakistan.

South Africa take on Pakistan in the first T20 at 3pm on Thursday with only three members of the Test squad involved, so there has needed to be a period of acclimatisation, which Miller said had gone very well.

“I’ve only been to Pakistan before for a very brief time – only three games for a World XI in 2017 – but we’ve all quickly realised how the conditions are here,” Miller said on Wednesday.

“The bounce is a lot lower than what we’re used to, but there are some venues in South Africa where the bounce is pretty low too and we have all travelled enough to adapt. It will be important to assess and adapt very quickly as we go along.

“I’m still getting used to playing in bubbles though, and I think the longer you play in a pandemic situation, the harder it gets.

“It’s quite restricting and you don’t have that free movement we’re used to, so it is quite challenging.”

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As a team with just 218 T20 International caps between them, and Miller having 78 of those and another 77 being shared between Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi and Reeza Hendricks, the Proteas acknowledge they are the underdogs.

The nature of the format, however, and the eagerness of the players being given the opportunity to stake World Cup claims, naturally levels the playing field.

“There’s been a lot of chat about this being a young side with new, inexperienced players, but they are being given a lot of opportunity to step up in a World Cup year, especially the guys who haven’t played before,” Miller said.

“We’ve prepared extremely well and as a senior player I would like to step up both on and off the field. It’s a really refreshing group and we are here to win and shine as much as we can.”

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