New Zealand v India, 5th ODI, Wellington January 30, 2014

The deepest attack I have been part of - Kyle Mills


Even before the series against India began, New Zealand made it clear that the experience of Kyle Mills would be required only on slow surfaces, chiefly in Hamilton. The senior fast bowler sat out in Napier and Auckland, but at Seddon Park he showed he still had plenty of guile left. In the fourth ODI, Mills' opening spell was 6-2-15-1. And off the 100 runs India took off the last 10 overs, Mills gave away 27 in his four.

Despite that performance, Mills does not have a guaranteed place in the XI, something he attributes to the depth in the New Zealand attack. "Pretty tough group. All my time, I have never experienced the bowling depth we have got at the moment," Mills said. "It's definitely exciting for New Zealand cricket, 12 months out from the World Cup.

"I have to contribute to the team as much as I can, whether it is opening the bowling or bowling first change. I guess my style is to keep things quiet and build pressure, and hopefully we can take wickets at the other end. I have been reasonably happy with my form over the last few years."

Mills said his vast experience and detailed plans for the India batsmen have helped him do the job when he was picked. "I guess I have got the luxury of being around for a while. I have got old legs, but that brings with it a little bit of experience. I called on all my experience of being in those situations before. I have done a lot of research on the Indian batting order and their lower order as well. I try to stick to my plans, and be confident of my plans. If it doesn't come off, then so be it, I will go to plan B.

"We have a really good understanding of home conditions, which always helps. We have had very specific plans against their top order. We used the short balls quite a lot, and that has definitely paid off for us this series."

The one-day game has changed considerably since Mills debuted for New Zealand in 2001. Two new balls and four deep fielders have made it even tougher for bowlers. Mills said it was interesting to develop plans to adapt to the changes and also observe and assist others in doing so. "Mentally I think I am still adjusting," Mills said. "It's a pretty tough environment, being a bowler in the international one-day game at the moment because the wickets are so flat, and the boundaries are obviously short. With the two balls, it means the ball stays harder throughout the whole 50 overs, but as a bowler you have to come up with more ways to get better, really.

"I think all bowling groups around the world are doing that. They are trying funky fields, they are creating new deliveries to try and nullify the attack of the batsmen. So as a cricketing fan myself, I enjoy watching cricket to see what plans other bowlers around the world have come up with to try and counteract those last 15 overs. I am trying a few plans myself, and so far they are working but I am always trying to develop my own personal game and also helping our bowling group in developing plans as well."

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Android on January 31, 2014, 9:47 GMT

    @Alex Rohit Sharma has played 4 tests I reckon and that too vs West Indies. Not what I call a test batsman. Dhawan too is riding on 185 vs australia. He was poor in South Africa and vs west indies at home. However they are good classy players. Give them time. Sharma rose to prominence through IPL not FC. Whilst Dhawan is 30.

    Mills's length is nearly the same which Mcgrath bowled (good length) and had an average of 22. Warner and Sehwag.... Well as good as they are, look how mills bowled to dhoni. He's not a cannon fodder mind you.

  • Alex on January 30, 2014, 22:58 GMT

    @ Shane Bond India has two TEST batsman opening in ODI. They are really not attcking batsman from beginning. Dawan is more of player who plays well in TEST because there is more gaps. IN odi , he is kinda not that good comparatively. Also he kinda got exposed in bouncy pitches as ball hits top part of bat and he could n't generate power. Rohit sharma is good number 6 player in ODI who can slog. As opening batsman they both not good for ODI. Mills length ball can be dispatched if opposition has strong batsman like david warner or sehwag.

  • Mark on January 30, 2014, 21:00 GMT

    Mills is pure class and the NZ team is definitely better with him in it. You simply cannot ignore his career stats, which are simply phenomenal. I understand the horses for courses mentality and also the value in blooding the youngsters, but still reckon Mills would add value on a hard fast wicket. He has a subtle variation off the seam, an excellent change of pace and unrivalled accuracy - simply put he is still NZs best ODI bowler. McCullum just has to work out the best place to hide him in the field :O

  • Dummy4 on January 30, 2014, 20:15 GMT

    Where in the article does it say anywhere that Kyle won't be part of the WC or that his age is against him? He's being used where conditions best suit his style, that's all. As he points out, NZ are enjoying a bit of depth at present in our bowling stocks, so he can't expect to play every game. Surely these are all good things.

  • Dummy4 on January 30, 2014, 17:15 GMT

    In Wellington Mills needs to play. If Mills played in Auckland we would have won; he is our best pace bowler. Similar to Dan Vittori, he bowls with intelligence and experience.

  • Dummy4 on January 30, 2014, 16:51 GMT

    Mills is one of the most under-rated bowler in the world. He has been instrumental in new zealand making to semi-finals previous world cups. Its naive to ask him to hang-up his boots just because he is approaching the wrong side of thirties. Talent and performance should always take precedence over age in sports! He should surely be part of nz plans fro coming world cup!

  • Android on January 30, 2014, 16:44 GMT

    @Alexk400 Mills has hovered around the top 20 bowlers for quite some time (2007-2014). Agreed Mills is old fashioned and sets up the batsman but this is what NZ want. They have southee to counter attack and Mitch to be aggressive. I don't think there's anyone explosive than India (Dhoni etc.) and he bowled well.

    Creating an aura seema to be quite stupid. Look at "Gods of India". All hype but none outside India.

  • David on January 30, 2014, 16:22 GMT

    Agree with Shane-Oh. Interestingly a lot of people in NZ were calling for him to hang up his boots claiming he hadn't done anything for a while. At the time I looked up his last 10 games and it was quite the opposite. Even if he is not starting his experience and prescence in the dressing room would be massive. Very under-rated bowler despite hovering around the top 10, if not in the 10 ten ODI bowlers in the last few years.

  • Alex on January 30, 2014, 15:45 GMT

    Kyle mills is ok as long as opposite team do not have ATTACKING batsman. If he bowls to test style batsman , he become dangerous because of his line length and bounce. But he will give too many runs if the opposite team attacks. He can be used based on what opposite team has. He is usable in one or two games. I really want to nz to not recognize opposite team achievements. Simply because to be better team , you only have to speak about what your team did. Trying to be nice will not make nz team win any better. On the other hand , you will create sense of aura if you talk only about your team because you become purposeful.

  • Balaji on January 30, 2014, 13:50 GMT

    Kyle mills is absolutely needed for the WC 2015

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