Miller to test the waters in four-day matches
JOHANNESBURG: David Miller is the most intriguing call-up to the South Africa A side for two fourday matches against Australia A later this month.
It’s an indication from the national selection panel that they no longer want to box him as solely a limited overs player and should he produce good results, he may find himself in the South African Test team at some stage.
It will be even more interesting if Miller were to avail himself for two more four-day matches in August against India A because at the same time, the Caribbean Premier League T20 competition is scheduled to start.
Miller is understood to have discussed options about how he could break into the SA Test team with Proteas management and the selectors, and the most viable of those was to avail himself for the SA A four-day team.
Miller would normally be expected to head over to the Caribbean, where last year he scored a “max” contract believed to be in the region $160 000 to play for the St Lucia Zouks.
But the clean-hitting left-hander has ambitions of donning Test whites and has chosen to display his first-class wares with an eye on breaking into the SA squad.
With doubts about AB de Villiers’ Test future and JP Duminy’s form inconsistent, Miller would provide an intriguing extra option.
Ahead of the last South African season, he moved to Bloemfontein to take up a spot in the Knights franchise and although his Sunfoil Series starts were limited to just four matches, the 28-year-old impressed by scoring a century and two half-centuries in five innings in the four-day competition.
Miller will hope he can inspire the South Africa A side to better results in the two matches against Australia A after a woeful tour to England in which the team were beaten by the England Lions in a one-day series and a subsequent four-day match.
The presence of Miller, Wayne Parnell and Dwaine Pretorius will boost the experience in the squad, which will again be captained by Aiden Markram, once he’s back from the UK, where he’s providing cover for Faf du Plessis ahead of the first Test against England.
Omphile Ramela, now of the Highveld Lions, has also been recalled, while feisty young leftarm spinner Bjorn Fortuin, also from the Lions, gets his first taste of the SA A level as well.
Following the matches against Australia, the selectors will name a squad for two more four-day matches against an India A side.
All three teams will also participate in a triangular one-day series against each other. Khaya Zondo will captain the SA A oneday team.
South Africa A four-day squad (to play Australia A): Aiden Markram (capt), Junior Dala, Bjorn Fortuin, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Wayne Parnell, Dane Paterson, Dane Piedt, Dwaine Pretorius, Omphile Ramela, Rudi Second, Jason Smith, Khaya Zondo South Africa A one-day squad (to play in triangular against Australia A and India A): Khaya Zondo (capt), Farhaan Behardien, Junior Dala, Henry Davids, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Aiden Markram, Mangaliso Mosehle, Wiaan Mulder, Dane Paterson, Aaron Phangiso, Dwaine Pretorius, Tabraiz Shamsi, Jason Smith