There’s something special about watching a clean hitter of the cricket ball clear the ropes with little fuss.
Think Chris Gayle, Jos Buttler, AB de Villiers of the modern era. When they are at the crease, anything is possible.
There are countless more players who have that ability, but to do it on a regular basis when you are under the pump, takes a special character.
South Africa has certainly been blessed with big hitters over the years, much to the frustration of opposing teams.
Who will ever forget the 26 runs, including three successive sixes, Adrian Kuiper hit from a Craig McDermott over in a one-day international against Australia in Centurion in 1994 when the big hitter was in the twilight of his career?
Or Lance Klusener’s bludgeoning of the world’s best bowlers at the 1999 World Cup (pity his running between the wickets was not as impressive)?
Or the audacity of Herschelle Gibbs, who hit Dutch spinner Daan van Bunge for six sixes in an over at the 2007 World Cup?
Then there’s David Miller. There are very few that can hit it cleaner than the 29-year-old. He regularly backs up his mantra: “If it’s in the V, it’s in the tree; if it’s in the arc, it’s out the park.”
Yet, so often his place in the national setup is in question. I suppose it is his own fault, as people know what he can achieve, and he doesn’t always reach those heights.
However, he remains an important player if South Africa are to pose any threat at the World Cup in the UK later this year.
I took my children to their first international match last weekend – the final T20 international against Sri Lanka at the Wanderers.
I asked them who was the player they most wanted to see. They both said David Miller.
He unfortunately didn’t bat, but he did take three solid catches and was a menace in the field.
Naturally, it was the autograph the kids were after.
He was the last to leave the field after the post-match presentation, and despite the security guards’ attempts to ask us to leave the stadium as the lights were turned off, he cleared a wall and jumped over electronic cables when we caught his attention.
He signed my daughter’s book and threw in his cap for my son.
He didn’t have to. The summer has been long. The day was over.
Yet, he went the extra mile long after the last Sri Lankan dismissal. He made my kids’ day. Miller just got himself a family of fans.