There was a lot of talk about how England would step into the T20I series against India with more confidence because of the addition of Tymal Mills. An express fast bowler known to bowl at 90kmph with ease, Mills’ was one of those powerhouses that were waiting to be unleashed in India. Though his performance in the series was not close to the hype he brought with himself, his statistics have been decent.
Mills’ economy rate of 7.28 towards the end of the innings is the second-best behind Mustafizur Rahman. His career economy rate is 7.47 and his strike rate is 17.7. In the recently concluded series, he had a wicket each in all the three matches and bowled with a great economy. The speed gun remains to be known T20 specialist. He had been in the International circuit for a long time but identified himself as a 20-over specialist very recently with his T20I debut on 15th July 2016 against Sri Lanka.
Virat Kohli had mentioned in a press conference that the 90mph-Mills factor didn’t bother him because he has faced similar pace, but he will be delighted to lead RCB with Mills as their frontline fast bowler. Today, he became the second biggest millionaire in the auction. He has an interesting journey as a player and we will reflect on it a few facts about him:
1. Truly English:
He was born on 22 August 1992 at Dewsbury, West Yorkshire. It’s true that you can’t keep the Brits away from cricket! It came late to Mills, but he started playing cricket when he was 14. Within two years, it became an inseparable part of his life. He abandoned a Journalism course at the University of East London in the process of playing for Essex at the age of 19 and has not looked back since then.
2. First-class: Essex
He made his first-class debut for Essex against the Sri Lankans in the tourist match of 2011 at Chelmsford. He made his Championship debut against Leicestershire at Grace Road in July 2011. His figures in the first-innings were 0/51, but in the second innings, he took 3/48. He reached 94mph for Essex against an England XI, risking Graeme Swann’s Ashes involvement after hitting him on the arm.
3. Grabbing the eyeballs
By the time he had progressed at Essex and represented England U-19s and had made his debut at the Championship in 2011, the the National Academy had taken notice and that winter he was named in the England Performance Programme, before playing for the Lions on their tour of Bangladesh.
4. First class: Sussex
In 2014, he left Essex at the end of an ordinary season to join Sussex with the thought that a recognition here could help him make way to the England Cricket Team. He took wickets at an average of 20 in the English T20 competition and his pace continued to be an asset for them. He also bowled in the First division of the County Championship and took 14 wickets at an average below 35. It is during his stay in the Sussex team that the sight of Mills clattering Chris Gayle’s stumps with a 93 mph rocket brought him into the bigger frame.
5. Tymal Mills, the fighter:
His career reached a standstill in 2015 when he was diagnosed with a congenital back condition. Meaning, his spinal cord and vertebrae are unusually close together. And fast-bowling could agitate his condition and result in more complications. As a result, he took a considerable time off cricket and that confined his future to the limited-over format. There’s a lot to admire about him here because the injury could have ended his career, but he chose to re-shape it and it is going well for him so far.
6. Rebirth as the T20 specialist
Inspite of the back condition, he couldn’t keep himself away from the game and continued to perform in the T20 format exclusively. He trains hard to cope with the demands of Twenty20 cricket and has done considerably well keeping that in mind. His T20I debut came in July last year against Sri Lanka at Southampton. He remains the fastest bowler for England at the moment. And is in the list for the fastest bowlers in the world as well.
7. On the T20 league radar
He is a part of all major leagues around the world now. He featured in the NatWestT20 Blast and the Super Smash Tournament in New Zealand. He plays in the Bangladesh Premiere League for Chittagong Vikings, and is a very recent member of the Brisbane Heat squad in the Big Bash League and will be part of the Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League this year. He is also set to step into the Indian Premiere League this year.
8. Hot property in IPL 10 auction
The bid-war for Ben Stokes must have been mind blowing but RCB’s adamant bid for Tymal Mills at 12 crore is just as intriguing. RCB was in a serious need of a frontline fast bowler, especially one that can be economical at death. With Mitchell Starc’s departure from RCB and IPL as a whole this year, Mills has got to be their best pick. The left-arm pacer can bowl with a lot of changeups, fast 150+ kmph deliveries coupled with some brilliant slower balls. RCB has welcomed the T20 specialist bowler, from a base price of 50 lakhs to a whopping 12 crore and most people will agree he is worth every penny.