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Australia’s greatest all-rounder had it all. He was an Aussie Rules hero, champion Test cricketer, RAAF pilot and a dashing, good looking bloke and raconteur.

That was not always the case.

He started his cricket at an early age. Ian Johnson recalled that the first time they met he was 13 and Miller only 11 as they practised with an interstate schoolboys’ side. “We were absolutely entranced by him. He was a glorious player.”

He tried out at Elsternwick’s First XI but was dropped after one match without being required to bat. He tried St Kilda, to which he was residentially bound, but he couldn’t get a game in any of their five teams. At 15, he was still only 162cm (5ft 4in) and 44kg. 

Fortunately South coach Hugh Carroll noticed him and decided he had potential. Under the rules of the day, South had to play him in the First XI or St Kilda could reclaim him. So he made his District debut at the age of 15, and ironically batted 61 minutes for 11 not out against St Kilda.

Melbourne’s Keith Rigg, who was Miller’s first Victorian captain, remembered the first time he saw him playing for South. “He was a very young boy. He was so small he came in to bat with pads flapping around up near his waist. Hans Ebeling was bowling and Keith him through the covers for four. I thought Crikey, who’s this kid?”

Miller sprouted between cricket seasons, so much so that South’s captain Lindsay Hassett asked who the six-footer was roaming around in the rooms. In 1937/38 he was picked up by the Colts. He won the team batting average.

Unfortunately for Premier cricket, and for Victoria, Miller did not play most of his cricket in Victoria. He played only 65 games for South between 1935/36 and 1946/47 and six with the Colts in 1937/38.
         
He played only 18 of his 226 first-class games for Victoria, but avowed until the day he died that he was Victorian through and through. Unfortunately, after the war and with a new bride and no money in cricket, he was forced to take up good employment in Sydney.

Nonetheless he scored 1396 runs for Victoria at 53.69, including five centuries and a high of 206 not out. He had not then reached his bowling peak. For NSW he played 50 games, about half as captain.

As a young man he developed a love of race horses, and equally loved cricket and football. He played 50 games for VFL club St Kilda (interrupted by the war) and earned state selection. Later when he was vice-captain of a NSW Australian Rules carnival team, he achieved the unique distinction of having represented both states at cricket and football.

He signalled his arrival on the international scene as a star cricketer after the war, playing in the Services XI led by Lindsay Hassett.

He then played 55 Tests, scoring 2958 runs at 36.97 and capturing 170 wickets at 22.97, usually in tandem with Ray Lindwall. His best bowling was 7/60 against England in Brisbane in 1946/47. His highest score was 147 against the West Indies in 1955.

 


Batting
InningsN.O.RunsBatting AvgHigh Score50s100s
6811188032.98153*112

Bowling
RunsWicketsBowling AvgBest5wi10wmCt/St
4101331.523/26  18