David Miller
David Miller (AFP Photo)

South Africa fast bowling great Allan Donald reckons that allrounder David Miller will be key to their chances at the ICC World Cup in England, especially in the aftermath of AB de Villiers surprise retirement last year.

South Africa were dramatically beaten by New Zealand in the 2015 World Cup final that left the then captain De Villiers in tears.

Miller, like De Villiers, is an electric fielder and a powerhouse in the middle-order, known for his big-hitting abilities. “If you look at where AB has left us, Miller is absolutely key for South Africa at this World Cup, ” Donald told Sport24.

Despite murmurs of De Villiers making a last-minute U-turn on retirement to boost South Africa’s chances at winning a maiden world cup title, Donald feels it’s an unlikely scenario. “I would but I think the rest of the world hopes that AB doesn t make a last minute U-turn and avail himself for Cricket World Cup selection. I read that AB said he would sit down with Cricket South Africa, but I can t see de Villiers returning to the international fold for South Africa.,” Donald, who played 72 Tests and 164 ODIs for South Africa, said.

Backing De Villiers call on finishing his international career, Donald said, “I think he has made his mind up and that is fair enough. Everyone has their own opinions on AB calling time on his Proteas career and some are harsher than others. I still believe that it s an individual s absolute right to say, ‘I have made a call and am moving on.’ AB has decided to move on and you have to respect that.”

Lungi Ngidi recently revealed his knee injury is healing well and he could be back to playing cricket earlier than expected. Donald feels his timely return will be a shot in the arm for the Proteas at the quadrennial event.

“If Ngidi overcomes his knee injury in time, he will be a huge boost for our World Cup hopes. I ve seen Lungi working out with the South African squad and doing his rehabilitation with the physiotherapist. The injury he sustained last November against Australia was quite severe, but it s good to hear that he is ahead of schedule in terms of his recovery process,” the 52-year-old said.