5 things to know about Australia’s best ever all-rounder Keith Miller

Australia’s Keith Ross Miller was born in Sunrise, Victoria on November 28, 1919. He would have been 99 years old today. Known as “Nugget” and claimed to be Cricket’s “Golden boy” by an English journalist, Keith Miller was one of the most charismatic cricketers ever. 


Tall, lithe and handsome, Keith Miller was a popular face and probably Cricket’s first pin-up. During his late teenage years he was already a jockey, give to his good looks. After retirement, he took to the press box to elongate his association with Cricket. He played the “Victory Tests” in England after World War II and was a part of Don Bradman’s “Invincible” Australian side.

 

Service during the war and back injury

Soon after Keith Miller made his debut for Victoria, his cricketing career was interrupted by World World II. He went to England and served as a night fighter pilot. He picked up a back injury there which made him almost handicapped and it made him suffer for years down the line. 

 

Miller’s outlook towards Test Cricket during the post-war era

A war-time hero and a brilliant all-rounder during the post-war era, Keith Miller soon made it to the forefront of the cricket scene. A spot for him in the Australian Test side was inevitable. Captain Don Bradman discerned his fast-bowling abilities accurately as he let him open the bowling with Ray Lindwall. He was a natural hard-hitter and was allowed bat in the top order. Many say that the war had changed him. And even though he was amazing as a Cricketer he wasn’t too competitive. 

 

Keith Miller’s Ashes Debut

Keith Miller made his Ashes debut at the Gabba in the year 1946. Test Cricket had marked its comeback after nine years in Australia. Miller claimed nine wickets in the first match at Brisbane. Australia had won the series 3–0 wherein Miller scored 384 runs at 76.80 and bagged 16 wickets at 20.88.

 

Keith Miller’s relationship with his captain Don Bradman

Keith Miller and Don Bradman exhibited sheer contrast in characters. Miller was never ruthless in his approach as a cricketer whereas Bradman was absolutely competitive. Miller’s sporadic stints of throwing away his wicket and not bowling too hard to his opponents often enraged his captain. the relationship had soured up so much that even after Bradman’s retirement he made sure Keith Miller was not made captain.

 

Keith Miller life outside of Cricket

Keith Miller was unpredictable in and outside the Cricket field. His contrast in choices was highlighted by the fact that he was both a fan of classical music and loved gambling. He married Margaret “Peggie” Wagener who he met during the war years and had four sons from that marriage. He later divorced his wife in 2002 and remarried after she passed away in 2003. He spent his last years on a wheelchair.

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