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Ice-man Miller believes Jansen can become his spiritual Proteas successor: ‘He has the gift’


Marco Jansen. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Marco Jansen. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

In Kimberley

  • David Miller believes Marco Jansen could take the baton from him as the Proteas’ designated finisher in white-ball cricket in future.
  • The stalwart added that he enjoyed guiding his young teammate during their series-clinching partnership against England in Bloemfontein this past weekend.
  • Miller is also excited about Temba Bavuma’s form.

David Miller has little doubt Marco Jansen can add to his ever-expanding cricketing repertoire by eventually becoming the type of “finisher” he already is with the bat for the Proteas.

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The lanky 22-year-old, named the ICC’s emerging world player of the year last week predominantly for his bowling exploits, has recently started to showcase the batting ability he’s regularly touted.

Jansen lit up the SA20 with a 27-ball 66 for Sunrisers Eastern Cape against MI Cape Town before playing a crucial if at times imperfect role in South Africa’s momentous, series-clinching chase against England in Bloemfontein last Sunday.

His unbeaten 32 off 29 deliveries mixed fine power-hitting and excellent placement with some nervy over-exuberance though he had the immense benefit of the ice-cool Miller by his side.   

“It’s the first time I batted with him. It was really nice just to get that bond together because we’ve got on well off the field,” said the Proteas stalwart ahead of Wednesday’s third and final ODI here.  

“Marco’s got a lot to offer, he’s still very young and a great talent with bat and ball. It was just nice to be there with him, chatting him through a few scenarios.

“When the pressure is on like that, for him to come through the way he did was just really pleasing to see. Hopefully we get a lot more partnerships together in future.” 

Miller also believes the hitches during that innings made him more aware of the ever-changing complexion of matches in the helter skelter of the final moments.

“Marco definitely benefitted from [the fluidity of the situation in Bloemfontein]. He’s got long levers, he’s like 5 metres tall. Those long arms obviously help him swing the bat with immense power, making him hit the ball very cleanly. Anyone that can do that has an advantage over the opposition already,” he said.

“For Marco, it’s just about trying to work out a game plan as time goes on in international cricket. He’s a huge talent and has a lot going for him. As he keeps playing and gaining experience all of things will fall into place.

“He definitely has the gift. It’s a great plus.”

Meanwhile, Miller is also excited what the future holds for Bavuma, whose third ODI century at the weekend suggests his form is up to scratch again.

“That was one of the most exciting innings I’ve seen,” he said.

“Not necessarily because Temba scored a hundred, but because of the way he did it. He batted phenomenally well.

“He put the pressure on the bowlers from the word go and kept that tempo so it was a match-winning knock. Temba’s been working really hard on his game and his innings was just outstanding. The maturity he batted with was so good to see and I’m very chuffed for him.

“He would have taken great learnings out of that and I think he showed everyone and himself that he can score at a very healthy run-rate with just normal cricket shots.”

First ball at the Oval in Kimberley is at 13:00 on Wednesday.

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