David Miller, one of the best fielders of the current generation, was seen keeping the wickets in South Africa vs Sri Lanka during the 2nd ODI clash yesterday. And the first thing everyone noticed was that he wasn’t wearing wicketkeeping pads.
Even though spinner Imran Tahir was bowling to Sri Lankan batsmen, a faster delivery could have beaten Miller and tailenders Vishwa Fernando, Lasith Malinga. One hit to his knee and Miller could have been injured, thanks to his carelessness.
However, the 29-year-old was pretty quick for a player who has never kept wickets in an international match or in any of the T20 tournament matches we have seen him play. He almost created a stumping chance on the fourth delivery he kept wickets for. The Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis and leg spinner Imran Tahir seemed impressed with him. Du Plessis, standing at slip position, went on to praise him, comparing him to MS Dhoni for taking off the bails in a flash, in an attempt to stump Fernando.
Both Tahir and Du Plessis have watched Dhoni closely while playing for IPL defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
Aaatttt wicket keeper antae #MSDhoni anae range ki thisikellav…. #Faf shouting #MSD #MS Nuvvu thopu ayya … you r inspiration to me in wicket-keeping #SAvSL #SLvsSA @Vidyadhar_7 @Maheshaddict @shyamMSDian07 pic.twitter.com/QUEVLKTpQA
— Srikar Chagarlamudi (@chsrikar777) March 6, 2019
It wasn’t just Du Plessis’ comments and his stumping style that made us compare him with MSD. There was an instance in World Cup 2015 when Dhoni kept wickets without wicketkeeping pads to give it to close-in fielder Ajinkya Rahane.
The Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) player was filling in for the hosts’ designated wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock who went off the field. De Kock took a dig at Miller in post-match presentation while receiving ‘Man of the Match’ for his 70-ball 94 runs. “I am working on him (Miller) and will make him a better ‘keeper one day”, he said.
With World Cup approaching every team will have a backup wicketkeeper in their ranks. Miller might be that go-to man for South Africa if a situation like this presents itself.