David Miller expects South Africa to target Pakistan’s top tier ailing in Thursday’s T20 World Cup clash.
The teams face off at the Sydney Cricket Ground in what is an unmissable match for Pakistan, who need a win to keep their hopes of reaching the semi-finals alive.
Meanwhile, unbeaten South Africa heads for the match in the wake of a five wicket win over India.
Proteas’ victory would see them return to the top of Group 2 and end Pakistan’s hopes of qualifying in the process.
Pakistan’s struggles, in large part, have been due to their high-level hitters failing. Captain Babar Azam amassed just eight points in his three innings in the tournament, while Mohammad Rizwan scored four and 14 against India and Zimbabwe respectively, before returning to form with 49 against the Netherlands last time.
Miller knows that Babar and Rizwan – who have scored 2,214 T20I points, most of any hitter since early 2021 – are still world-class, but he believes South Africa’s fit bowling bout is suitable for any team. .
He told reporters: “This game is all about trust, and yes, they probably haven’t performed the way they would like, but they are world-class players and we expect them to come out and bring their A-games and be up for the challenge.
“It doesn’t just mean going there and expecting to get them out first ball or sooner. We have to work very hard for every wicket, and hopefully we can get them soon and the Pakistani middle order under pressure a little bit sooner rather than later.”
South African pacemen Wayne Parnell (3-15) and Lungi Ngidi (4-29) capped India to 113-9 on Sunday, although the Proteas still relied on a solid partnership between Miller (59 not eliminated) and Aiden Markram (52) to cross the line in Perth.
Miller is the most capped T20I player in the South African squad and knows his experience is of enormous benefit in the most important moments.
“Experience is a very valuable thing,” he said. “In the previous game, we were in a bit of trouble, there was a lot of pressure to win the game and it’s just about slowing down the process and understanding what is needed right now.
“In the past, maybe we could have been a little rushed. He’s just trying to weather the storm.”
Pakistan lost 11 T20Is in 2022 and another defeat would see them equal the worst tally ever in the format in just one year (12 in 2010).
South Africa, on the other hand, are aiming for their tenth win of the year in T20I, even though they have lost their last two matches with Pakistan in the format.