Mills and Malan earn England T20 call-up
Tymal Mills, the Sussex left-arm fast bowler, and Middlesex batsman Dawid Malan have been named in England's T20 squad to face Sri Lanka next month. Jonny Bairstow has been included for both the ODIs and T20 but there was no place for Stuart Broad.
Alex Hales, Joe Root and Moeen Ali were rested for the T20, which takes place at the Ageas Bowl on July 5. There was no place in either squad for Jake Ball, who was part of the Test squad through the series against Sri Lanka.
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 but has the ability to bowl above 90mph. 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 continued to be involved in the fast bowling programme during last winter.
"The guy can bowl quickly. It's a shame his back has robbed him of first-class cricket, but he seems to have thrown all his efforts into becoming a really skilful one-day bowler," Alastair Cook, England's Test captain, said. "He's obviously worked on his skills: he can change-up from a 93mph thunderbolt to a slower ball. There's no substitute for pace. I'll be very excited to watch him bowl."
In a recent televised T20 Blast match against Somerset, Mills 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."
Malan was rewarded for impressive form against Pakistan A in the UAE, where he scored 253 runs at 50.60 and a strike rate of 131.77 in the five T20s, alongside 211 runs in four one-day games. He will likely open the innings alongside Jason Roy, with Hales given a brief break after the five-match ODI series. Liam Dawson, the Hampshire allrounder who was part of the World T20 squad but did not make his debut, retained his place.
"Tymal Mills has been one of the standout performers with the ball in the NatWest T20 Blast competition this season and deserves his chance," James Whitaker, the national selector, said. "Dawid Malan has made great strides as an attacking batsman, both with Middlesex and the England Lions. We were particularly impressed with his three fifties during the winter tour of the UAE against Pakistan A."
The 14-man one-day squad had a familiar look except for the enforced absences of Ben Stokes (knee injury), Reece Topley (back injury) and James Taylor. Liam Plunkett, the Yorkshire fast bowler, retained his place with the other pace bowlers being David Willey, Chris Jordan, Chris Woakes and Steven Finn. Moeen and Adil Rashid again offer the option of a twin-spin attack.
"We have made good progress over the past 12 months in all white ball cricket, which has been very encouraging," Whitaker said. "The six matches coming up against Sri Lanka will give the players a good test of their credentials. It is important for this group of players to make a mark this summer as we continue to improve ahead of hosting the ICC Champions Trophy tournament this time next year."
ODI squad Eoin Morgan (capt), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Steven Finn, Chris Jordan, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, James Vince, David Willey, Chris Woakes
T20 squad Eoin Morgan (capt), Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Liam Dawson, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Tymal Mills, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, James Vince, David Willey