IPL 2019 - Ashwin’s leadership helping Kings XI Punjab: David Miller | Exclusive Interview
With two wins out of their first three matches, Kings XI Punjab took on Delhi Capitals at home. The hosts were all but out of the contest when a devastating spell by Sam Curran turned the match on its head. The young England all-rounder took a hat-trick as DC suffered one of the worst batting collapses in IPL history. The win was a huge boost for KXIP and experienced overseas star David Miller believes that the victory has provided a lot of confidence and momentum to the team.
“It was a massive win for us. It is all about confidence and momentum and how we have played against RCB and Rajasthan (Royals) was quite impressive. Those were very important and it has been good for the team as well to win those two matches on the trot,” Miller told Hindustan Times.
Bowling has been the strength for KXIP till now as they have been able to maintain their discipline in pressure situations that resulted in victories against RR and DC. Batsmen too have contributed regularly with Chris Gayle, KL Rahul, Miller and Mayank Agarwal all getting half-centuries in the first four matches. When asked about the reason behind their success so far, Miller pointed at the team effort.
“It is very hard to point out any one thing but I can say that everyone has carried out their roles properly and at this moment, we have a really happy dressing room,” Miller explained.
On the personal front, Miller has been enjoying a good run of form with a couple of significant knocks under his belt already. The 29-year-old started the campaign with a half century in the losing cause against KKR and then followed it up with a 30-ball-43 against DC to take his team to a competitive total.
In the last couple of seasons, the South Africa international has found it hard to cement his place in the side and when asked about his performances this season, Miller said that he is glad to get some game time.
“I am quite happy with my performance till now. I have put in a couple of good performances and the team is also doing quite well as we are in the top half of the table. I did not play much in the last couple of years and it feels great to get some game time,” the South Africa batsman said.
Besides the performances, Kings XI Punjab have also been in the news for the captaincy style of Ravichandran Ashwin. Ashwin’s aggressive approach and out-of-the-box decisions have become a hallmark of KXIP’s season so far. His decision to ‘mankad’ Jos Buttler in the opener caused quite a stir in the cricketing community.
Miller, who captained KXIP in 2016, was all praise for Ashwin and said the India spinner has great knowledge of cricket which helps him in reading the game.
“It has been a great experience. His knowledge of the game is very good and he reads the game well. His leadership skills - specially player management - has also been quite good,” Miller said.
Kings XI Punjab take on defending champions Chennai Super Kings away from home on Saturday.