He is the biggest surprise: Sanjay Manjrekar about Gujarat Titans’ batter

Former Indian Cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar hailed Gujarat Titans middle-order batter David Miller for his outstanding season in the 2022 season of the Indian Premier League.

Miller was one of the main pillars of the Titans’ team that went on to lift the trophy this year.

The 32-year-old has signed for Rs 3 crore in the 2022 mega auction after being let go by Rajasthan Royals.

Miller, who couldn’t do much in earlier editions of the IPL, overcame all his odds to become one of the leading run-scorers of this year’s IPL. He had 481 runs in 16 matches at an average of 68.71 and a strike rate of 142.72.

He ended as the leading run-scorer for the Gujarat Titans and remained not-out on nine occasions out of 16 matches. Even in the 1st Qualifier, he played an excellent knock against his former team, Rajasthan Royals.

He helped the team to reach the final and also did the same in the finals as well and helped his team to lift the trophy.

Impressed by Miller’s performance, former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar called him the top performer of the IPL 2022 campaign. Talking to ESPN Cricinfo, Manjrekar said that Miller couldn’t do much in previous editions of the IPL with other franchises but when he was picked by the Titans, he stepped up.

“David Miller was the biggest surprise. Apart from his first couple of years, all the other seasons have proved to be a failure for him. He suddenly stepped up while playing for a new franchise this year. It was his best IPL season. He batted really well in the final and also played a match-winning knock in Qualifier 1,” he said.

Manjrekar also went on to add that it was difficult for everyone to predict Hardik Pandya’s captaincy as we haven’t seen him captaining India or any other domestic teams.

“There was no way we were able to make a judgment for sure because we didn’t see him captaining India or at the domestic level, which he doesn’t seem to be interested in. It was another gamble. It’s not because they have gone on to win the title. We saw him being comfortable in the role after five matches in the IPL,” Manjrekar added.

Manjrekar also compared Pandya to former Indian cricketer Vinod Kamble. He added that Pandya had self-control and was seen as genuinely relaxed.

“Sometimes when the cameras are on, these guys know what demeanour to carry. This guy was genuinely relaxed. Even when he gets all those big wickets, he is able to control himself. During our time, we had Vinod Kambli, who had a flamboyant nature, but when it came to batting, he was very sensible and measured. The same thing can be said about Hardik,” he added.

Hardik Pandya was the star performer in the final of the tournament. He brought himself in ahead of Sai Kishore and bowled himself out early. The all-rounder ended with three wickets while giving away just 17 runs from his four overs. He also dismissed Sanju Samson and Simron Hetmyer which changed the course of the game as the Royals managed only 130 in their 20 overs. In return, after losing two wickets early, Pandya played a sensible knock and added an important partnership with Gill which made the chase possible.