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McMillan looks forward to South Africa Tests

Craig McMillan has good reason to be focusing with renewed confidence on the Test series against South Africa starting on Wednesday.

india Updated: Mar 09, 2004 00:31 IST

Craig McMillan has good reason to be focusing with renewed confidence on the Test series against South Africa starting on Wednesday.

Having just become a father, McMillan expressed relief at being able to concentrate on the three-Test series and attempt to pass the 3,000-run mark.

"You look at things in a different perspective when you become a parent and I had my wife and the imminent birth on my mind a lot during the one-day series," McMillan said on Monday.

The 27-year-old 48-Test veteran's Test tally stands at 2,909 at an average of 41.55, with a highest score of 142. He has scored six centuries and 18 half-centuries.

"My dream is to score a century against South Africa," McMillan said. "That's how you're gauged as a batsman, by how many runs you make.

"I haven't got a bad ratio of centuries to 50s, but I want to improve it."

McMillan had one good innings in the one-day series against South Africa, won 5-1 by New Zealand, scoring 70 not out in the second match when New Zealand squared the series 1-1.

That day the Canterbury batsman had been strongly criticised in a column in one of the country's biggest newspapers, although he said he had not heard about it until after his innings.

"I got told about it after the match," McMillan said. "I'm afraid it had no bearing on how I played that night, but it was strong stuff.

"You've got to take criticism on the chin and somehow prove you can play a bit."

McMillan has perhaps been lucky to be in both one-day squads against Pakistan and South Africa this year as he opted out of the five-match series in Pakistan in November for personal reasons.

After a poor World Cup in South Africa a year ago, McMillan was dropped from the subsequent tour of Sri Lanka, although he was reinstated for the next tour, to India, with a triangular one-day series tacked on involving Australia.

"It may sound funny, but being dropped can be a good thing," McMillan said.

"Sometimes you need a small break and re-evaluate yourself."

Now he is firmly back in the frame, McMillan believes South Africa are going to be a totally different team in the Tests from the one-day games.

"We've obviously got a bit of confidence, but it's a whole new ball game now. They are going to be smarting a bit and really keen for some revenge.

"We're determined to do well because we lost our third place in the ICC Test rankings when we lost to Pakistan (1-0 in December). We've managed to move up in the ODI stats, so a nice double would be a Test series win."

First Published: Mar 09, 2004 00:31 IST