If it’s in the V it’s in the tree: David Miller on what has changed for him in IPL 2022 after 6 poor seasons

Written by Mohan Sharma

South Africa batter David Miller has been singing the redemption song throughout the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and Gujarat Titans (GT) have reaped the rewards for the same as the stylish left-hander has taken the debutants to a home final. Miller, who went unsold in the first round of the mega auction, was bought by the Titans following a bidding war with Miller’s previous franchise Rajasthan Royals (RR), after initially going unsold.

Miller, who took the IPL by storm in 2013 with a 38-ball century, had three outstanding seasons with the then Kings XI Punjab including the breakthrough in 2014 when M & M (Miller and Maxwell) mayhem helped the Men in Red reach their only final in the cash-rich league.

However, since 2015, the loss in form, sporadic chances and a change in the franchise in between didn’t help his cause. In the last six seasons, Miller has scored a total of 655 runs in 42 matches at an average of below 25. Miller was bought by Rajasthan Royals ahead of the 2020 season. However, he played just one game in 2020 and was out without facing a delivery while in 2021 played 9 games scoring just 124 runs.

However, at the Titans, he was their main middle-order enforcer as far as overseas players are concerned and the ‘Killer Miller’ of old has been on display this season. Whether his 94* against Chennai Super Kings or the final-spot sealing 68* against Rajasthan Royals, Miller has enjoyed the responsibility and has passed with flying colours.

Miller started the presentation ceremony with the two sentences which he made popular, “If it’s in the V it’s in the tree and if it’s in the arc it’s out of the park.”

Talking about what has changed for him this year, Miller said that given an extended run and a good role in the side has helped him. “I think opportunity firstly – I’ve been given a good role and a good extensive run in the team. I’ve felt extremely backed from the outset. My personal game, I think I’m really enjoying my role. I’ve been playing for many years now and I’m just understanding my game a lot better.”

“In high-pressure situations you tend to go away from the game plan but I’m trying to keep everything together as close as possible to my game plan. There’s been a lot of critics saying go wide to me on the off-side (laughs),” the 32-year-old said.

Miller said that he did have a few butterflies in his stomach before coming into a new franchise but it all settled down after their first win.

“That’s the joy of IPL – you play for different teams and you meet different players. I knew a few players already but it was a new team. There are a few butterflies here and there as the guys try to know each other but after that first win, that was pretty close, everything just aligned and we made it a nice habit,” he further said.

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Mohan Sharma