June 12, 2016
Tymal Mills, the Sussex left-arm fast bowler capable of topping 90mph, could earn an England call-up for next month’s T20I against Sri Lanka when the limited-overs squads are named on Monday.
Mills, who was forced to retire from first-class cricket last year after being diagnosed with a congenital back condition, is limited to the four-over workloads of T20 cricket. Prior to his diagnosis he was already on England’s radar because of his extreme pace – he was used as a net bowler during the 2013-14 Ashes tour – and has continued to be involved in the fast bowling programme during last winter.
In a recent televised T20 Blast match against Somerset he was clocked at 93mph, when he gave Chris Gayle a working over before shattering his stumps, and also showed his variety of slower balls he often uses at the death. On Friday he claimed 3 for 15 from his four overs against Kent.
Earlier this month he told ESPNcricinfo about his ambitions to be a T20 specialist for England. “In a perfect world I could make a career doing this for a long time. I’ve just got to stay fit,” he said. “Everything I do is aimed at being a top T20 player. I want to play for England even if it’s just in T20 cricket.”
England’s squads for the five ODIs and lone T20 against Sri Lanka have a few spaces to fill due to James Taylor’s enforced retirement (he was the spare batsman in South Africa when England last played ODIs) as well as injuries to Ben Stokes and Reece Topley. David Willey has recently resumed bowling for Yorkshire after his abdominal injury so is on course to be available.
Jonny Bairstow is expected to be the man to challenge for a middle-order role after his stellar Test form, while Jos Buttler resumes behind the stumps, although the selectors may ponder returning Bairstow to county cricket so he can continue to refine his keeping in the Championship for Yorkshire. England also need to decide the balance of the final XI in the absence of Stokes, who has been around the squad during the third Test against Sri Lanka continuing his rehab from knee surgery.
Stuart Broad was recalled to the one-day side in South Africa after Steven Finn was ruled out through injury but may again be left out ahead of the Test series against Pakistan. James Anderson, who has not played an ODI since the World Cup, is not expected to earn a recall. Nottinghamshire’s Jake Ball, who has been in all three Test squads so far this season, is a contender for one of the pace-bowling slots.
Possible squad Alex Hales, Jason Roy, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Steven Finn, James Vince, Chris Jordan, Sam Billings, Jake Ball, Tymal Mills (T20 only)
ESPN Sports Media Ltd.