Proteas hoping to embody ’zen master’ Hashim Amla in a bid to win #T20WorldCup, says David Miller
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Cape Town - Hashim Amla was often referred to as the "zen master" during his time with the Proteas.
Amla hardly ever broke a sweat even in the intense desert heat of Dubai and always exuded a sense calmness that permeated through the dressing room.
The bearded wonder has since moved on and now spends his time in the shires of England playing for Surrey in the County Championship, but it seems he has left an indelible mark on the Proteas environment and culture.
"I had the privilege to play with him for many, many years and I suppose what I have learnt from him is to not let failure get you down," Proteas batsman David Miller told reporters from the United Arab Emirates ahead of South Africa's T20 World Cup campaign.
"We are striving for consistency in performance and, off the field, trying to be a consistent person as well. That's what I have really enjoyed about Hashim and his influence, being nice and calm, being a pillar of strength; the silent assassin.
"He was about getting the job done but more so, being nice and consistent as a person. It has been a good journey with him and I still keep in touch with him and will continue to do that during this World Cup for any advice."
For a team that have struggled with forming an identity and ridding itself of an image that was seen not to incorporate everyone, Miller has been wise to adopt the mannerisms of someone like Amla.
He particularly remembers a sage piece of advice the legendary Proteas batsman shared with him.
"There is a famous old saying is that you are only as good as your last game, but Hashim always said to me (it's) your next game (that's important) ," Miller said.
South Africa's next match is their T20 World Cup opener against Australia in just two days time in Abu Dhabi.
If ever there was a team that could remind the Proteas of their World Cup" baggage" it would be the Aussies. But Miller is not concerned by the past and is focused clearly on the task at hand.
"Each team is different to how you take it on. On the positive side of things, we have experience and some match-winners. From my side, I don't like to overthink the past and take on baggage," Miller said.
"Yes, there are chats about the past and this and that, but it's about controlling what we can think of in the moment. It's a cliche, but it helps.
"It's difficult to win a World Cup, only one team can win so things have to go your way," said Miller.
"Yes, in the past, things haven't gone our way, but it isn't something that we are shying away from. We realise it's a great opportunity to change our lives - not only as a team but for ourselves."
Meanwhile, the Proteas suffered a scare in the warm-up game against Pakistan on Wednesday evening when after Tabraiz Shamsi was forced to sit out the remainder of the match as a precaution due to a tight groin.
The Proteas medical team will assess the World No 1 T20 bowler overnight and determine next steps as required.