People counted out David Miller but for us he was always a winner, says Gujarat Titans captain Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya said that while others may not have thought much of David Miller, the Gujarat Titans still had faith in his game-winning abilities. Miller, who said he was having his best Indian Premier League season to date, took Gujarat Titans to the Ahmedabad final with three successive sixes in the final against Rajasthan Royals’ Prasidh Krishna in the first qualifier in Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
Miller finished on 68 from 38 and set up an unbroken fourth wicket of 106 runs with skipper Pandya, who said Miller had shown what he could do if given prominence and clarity role within a team.
“I’m really proud of the way he’s raised his game, he’s a really damn good guy,” Pandya said of Miller. “I was proud to play with him and enjoy…he’s just such a wonderful guy that I’ve always wanted good things to happen to him. It shows that if you show love and importance to an individual player, he can flourish and how.
“People counted out David Miller, but for us he was always the game winner from the moment we bought him at auction,” Pandya said. “We always expected him to do what he did (in Kolkata) but it was important to give him importance, love and clarity about what we expect of him and if we fail. , it’s okay, it’s just a game.”
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Speaking to Shubman Gill after the win, Miller said Pandya helped calm his nerves when he came on 85 for 3 in the tenth chasing 189. “I was a bit nervous to be honest with you, but Hardik said keep playing good cricket, keep widening the gap,” Miller told Gill. “As you saw he wasn’t running too fast, and for me, I likes to run quite hard between the wickets. But it ended up going pretty well. It was a fast outfield, so hitting the spread was probably the best bet, and just hitting good cricket shots.
During the postgame presentation, Miller also spoke about the confidence the Titans had invested in him. “I think the opportunity, first of all, I was given a good role and a good run in the team,” Miller said. “I felt extremely supported from the start.”