The Ashes 2013-14 October 25, 2013

Tymal Mills to help with Ashes preparations

ESPNcricinfo staff

Tymal Mills, the Essex left-arm fast bowler, will fly to Australia at the weekend to help England with their preparations for the Ashes and a potential reacquaintance with the in-form Mitchell Johnson.

Mills, 21, is part of the Performance Squad which will be based in Australia from mid-November until shortly before Christmas, but is now leaving three weeks ahead of his team-mates to be part of England's warm-up period which begins in Perth where the squad arrived on Thursday.

Although England have a battery of tall and quick bowlers, they do not have a left-arm pacer in the 17-man party. It is the missing ingredient that David Saker, the bowling coach, often talks about. England have not had a left-arm pace bowler since the retirement of Ryan Sidebottom.

Mills tweeted: "Very exciting/busy few days/weeks ahead!!! Flying off to Aus on Sunday to help The England side with their prep for the ashes!"

He caused England a few alarms ahead of the home Ashes when he struck Graeme Swann on the arm during the warm-up match involving Essex at Chelmsford. For a short while there were fears that Swann had suffered a break and Mills' hostility caught the eye of England's Test squad and team director Andy Flower.

After the match against Essex last July, Flower said: "His rate of progress is really exciting for Essex. His control has improved and he's really impressive physically. If he continues he might play for England."

The call-up for Mills is another example of how Flower is methodical in his planning and preparation. Johnson's recent ODI form in England and now India, has propelled him towards being a likely starter in the Brisbane Test - especially due to the injury to Mitchell Starc - and Flower will not want his batting line-up caught out by Johnson who, though erratic, can produce devastating bursts.

England have a couple of days off in Perth after arriving late on Thursday, and begin training on Sunday ahead of their first warm-up match against Western Australia XI on October 31.

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