David Miller gives up Test dream to focus on World Cup

ESPNcricinfo staff2 Minute Read
A dejected David Miller walks back after being dismissedAssociated Press

Batsman David Miller has made himself unavailable to play first-class cricket in South Africa, a decision that means he has effectively given up on representing the country in Test cricket.

The 29-year-old Miller, who remains available for all forms of limited-overs cricket for South Africa and the Dolphins, said that giving up red-ball cricket was "a tough decision", but he wanted to concentrate on maximising his chances of international cricket with the white ball, especially with the 2019 World Cup a few months away.

"It was a tough decision to make," Miller said. "I have always loved playing red-ball cricket but I have decided that I would, in future, like to concentrate on white-ball cricket to make sure that I am in a position to give myself the best opportunity to play for the Proteas in the format that I love. This is an important decision for me, especially with the World Cup looming next year. I will also be available to play for the Dolphins in all limited-overs competitions and will give it my all to help them win trophies this season."

Miller has played 109 ODIs and 61 T20Is for South Africa, but hasn't played any Test cricket. In 63 first-class matches, he has scored 3342 runs at an average of 36.32, with six centuries.

A year ago, Miller had made a clear statement of his ambition to play Test cricket when he opted out of the 2017 CPL to play for South Africa A against India A in August 2017. He made scores of 78, 27, 13 and 18 but he was not considered for the Test squad to play against Bangladesh.

Cricket South Africa chief executive Thabang Moroe said it was disappointing to lose Miller as a potential Test cricketer, but hoped he would reconsider his decision in the future.

"At the age of 29, he still has many years of good cricket left in him in all formats but at the same time, we have to understand that he wants to throw his full weight into helping the Proteas to win the ICC World Cup," Moroe said. "He has time on his hands to resume his first-class career in due course and I sincerely hope that we have not seen the last of him in red-ball cricket where he has shown his undeniable talents in the past."

Miller has struggled for form in ODIs this year, with only one half-century in nine matches in 2018, and a total of 192 runs at just 21.33. His strike-rate of 89.71 is also much lower than his career figure of 101.21. Overall, Miller has scored 2588 runs in ODIs at an average of 36.97.