David Miller wants more batters to help Jos Buttler serve Paarl Royals

David Miller is back capaining the Paarl Royals during the SA20. Picture: Mike Hutchings / Sportzpics / SA20 via BackpagePix

David Miller is back capaining the Paarl Royals during the SA20. Picture: Mike Hutchings / Sportzpics / SA20 via BackpagePix

Published Jan 9, 2024


Paarl Royals captain David Miller has stressed the need for “big runs” from his team in the second season of the Betway SA20.

The Royals qualified for the semi-finals in season 1, but fell short against the Pretoria Capitals at the Wanderers.

Despite their decent run in the competition, the Royals were heavily dependent on England skipper Jos Buttler.

The hugely talented opener virtually kept the Royals in the hunt single-handedly by topping the tournament’s run-scoring charts with 391 runs.

It was a massive 164 runs more than the Royals’ next best, which was Miller, with 227 runs.

Miller is acutely aware that they cannot depend solely on Buttler for contributions at the top of the order and will need the rest of the batting unit to play their part if the Boland Park-based outfit are to progress beyond the qualifiers in season 2.

“We definitely underperformed as a whole as a batting unit and we still got to the semis,” said Miller, who will bat at No 4 this season.

“So, if there are guys that contribute this year, that will go a long way for us in the competition.

“It is important to put on big runs in the competition, and the guys definitely know already and are excited to get that under way and put in big performances.”

There have been a few changes at the Royals for season 2, most notably the appointment of former New Zealand fast bowler Shane Bond as coach.

The 48-year-old replaced JP Duminy, who has become the permanent batting coach of the Proteas’ white-ball teams and is part of International League T20 (ILT20) side Sharjah Warriors’ coaching staff.

“I grew up watching him bowl and now he is the coach and I am the captain.

“It’s these types of tournaments that bring those types of things into reality,” Miller said.

“It’s only been three days, but I am looking forward to working with him. His communication seems good. He is very switched on.

“Obviously, (he) had the career that he did, which was super great and just really happy to have experience like that in the camp.

“I have really high hopes that he can bring a lot to the group.”

Equally, Miller was looking to renew the rivalry with crosstown neighbours MI Cape Town after losing to them both home and away last season, while the clash against Durban’s Super Giants is always a highlight for the big-hitting left-hander.

“It’s always going to be a big game against Polly’s (Kieron Pollard’s MI Cape Town) team and that’s always going to be a biggie between the two of us.

“Personally, coming from Durban … it is always nice to do well against them (DSG). Really excited about what lies ahead for this big competition,” Miller said.

Paarl Royals open their season 2 campaign against the Pretoria Capitals on Friday at Boland Park.