The Ashes 2013-14 October 25, 2013

Tymal Mills to help with Ashes preparations

ESPNcricinfo staff
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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.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • jmcilhinney on October 26, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Sponge on (October 26, 2013, 7:18 GMT), when you say that talk of potential is nonsense, presumably you're talking about Warner, Hughes, Khawaja, Watson, etal.

  • aq111 on October 26, 2013, 10:51 GMT

    @landl47 and @SDH12. Yes I see where you are coming from. I haven't seen Mills bowl but if he is very quick and has a tendency to spray it about he will be the perfect warm-up for Johnson!

  • Front-Foot-Sponge on October 26, 2013, 7:18 GMT

    Mills might get a game after the England bowlers are battered. It would be good to see, there's nothing like real pace against the top order. I get the feeling Johnson will click this series and will be far to hot to handle for an England top order that was in all sorts of bother during the Ashes. Let's face it, Root is a bunny, Cook may never rediscover his form, Bairstow has had his chance, Trott will get bounced out, Prior hasn't scored a run for a year and Bell can't save the team every game. KP will always make a score here a d there. Talk of 'potential' is nonsense. Yeah it was 3-0 but as another article rightfully mentioned it was a close series and Australia had a crowbar in the safe in every match, even at Lords. They will have learned from that.

  • OhhhhhMattyMatty on October 26, 2013, 0:28 GMT

    Not very useful for England as Mills is actually half decent and can move the ball in the air (probably quicker too!). Therefore he will be preparing them to face some actual decent quick left arm bowling!

    Then Mitchell Johnson will rock up at the GABBA and spray it all over the shop, finishing with figures in the match of 2-232 (Dismissing Jimmy Anderson twice!!!)!

  • SDHM on October 25, 2013, 17:24 GMT

    @aq111 - this isn't about 'who deserves a go' but more about meticulous preparation. Whilst Barker is a fine bowler, he isn't exactly like-for-like with Mitchell Johnson; he's much slower and more of a classic English swing bowler. Mills is quite similar in many ways; a tearaway quick, capable of pure devastation but also of spraying it all over the shop I might add! Just seems good planning from Flower.

  • landl47 on October 25, 2013, 16:53 GMT

    Mills is very fast and very wild. Hmmm- I wonder who England think he might prepare them to face?

    In the long term, if Mills can develop his control, he might be a real candidate for international honours. As of now, Reece Topley looks the better prospect as a left-armer.

    @aq111: I think you've missed the point. Mills is there to be a practice bowler for the England batsmen. I don't think there's much danger of England doing an Agar and picking him for the tests. There are several bowlers sitting in England who would be ahead of Mills in the pecking order- Onions, Jordan, Woakes, to name a few. Barker doesn't offer the same opportunity for practice against a really quick left-armer as Mills does. He's not being overlooked, he simply doesn't fit what England needs right now.

  • on October 25, 2013, 15:03 GMT

    I'm surprised Johnson didn't play in the last Ashes to be honest. He was pretty devastating against Sri Lanka at the end of 2012 and has continued from there.

    He's not just bowling fast, but he's dangerous as the Sri Lankans found out to their peril.

    This is a good move from England though, hopefully with better preparation we won't fail in the 1st test as we always seem to do away from home!

  • Selassie-I on October 25, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    Surely Johnson's form can't continue past 2 ODI series, or so history would tell us that he's due a bad one!

  • aq111 on October 25, 2013, 13:39 GMT

    If England want a left-arm quick how about Keith Barker of Warwickshire? He already averages 28 with the bat and 25 with the ball and is improving further with every season. He's a big lad, hits the deck hard and can swing it both ways. Is he destined to be one of the forgotten men of English Cricket...surely deserves a go before Tymal Mills.

  • CricketingStargazer on October 25, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    This is typical of Andy Flower's careful approach. He wants to avoid any repetition of what happened in the UAE last year. I agree with @jmc: Mitch J. is a curious case. He has been reborn several times, but his match-winning performances in Tests tend to be rare but can be devastating (in the Brisbane Test in 2010 he took an eye-watering 0-170 at 4-an-over but then, after missing the 2nd Test, took 9-82 in the 3rd). His low arm action means that if his timing is just slightly wrong the ball will fly wildly towards second slip. He is Australia's Steve Harmison: you never know what you are going to get, but when it clicks, it can be devastating.

  • jmcilhinney on October 26, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Sponge on (October 26, 2013, 7:18 GMT), when you say that talk of potential is nonsense, presumably you're talking about Warner, Hughes, Khawaja, Watson, etal.

  • aq111 on October 26, 2013, 10:51 GMT

    @landl47 and @SDH12. Yes I see where you are coming from. I haven't seen Mills bowl but if he is very quick and has a tendency to spray it about he will be the perfect warm-up for Johnson!

  • Front-Foot-Sponge on October 26, 2013, 7:18 GMT

    Mills might get a game after the England bowlers are battered. It would be good to see, there's nothing like real pace against the top order. I get the feeling Johnson will click this series and will be far to hot to handle for an England top order that was in all sorts of bother during the Ashes. Let's face it, Root is a bunny, Cook may never rediscover his form, Bairstow has had his chance, Trott will get bounced out, Prior hasn't scored a run for a year and Bell can't save the team every game. KP will always make a score here a d there. Talk of 'potential' is nonsense. Yeah it was 3-0 but as another article rightfully mentioned it was a close series and Australia had a crowbar in the safe in every match, even at Lords. They will have learned from that.

  • OhhhhhMattyMatty on October 26, 2013, 0:28 GMT

    Not very useful for England as Mills is actually half decent and can move the ball in the air (probably quicker too!). Therefore he will be preparing them to face some actual decent quick left arm bowling!

    Then Mitchell Johnson will rock up at the GABBA and spray it all over the shop, finishing with figures in the match of 2-232 (Dismissing Jimmy Anderson twice!!!)!

  • SDHM on October 25, 2013, 17:24 GMT

    @aq111 - this isn't about 'who deserves a go' but more about meticulous preparation. Whilst Barker is a fine bowler, he isn't exactly like-for-like with Mitchell Johnson; he's much slower and more of a classic English swing bowler. Mills is quite similar in many ways; a tearaway quick, capable of pure devastation but also of spraying it all over the shop I might add! Just seems good planning from Flower.

  • landl47 on October 25, 2013, 16:53 GMT

    Mills is very fast and very wild. Hmmm- I wonder who England think he might prepare them to face?

    In the long term, if Mills can develop his control, he might be a real candidate for international honours. As of now, Reece Topley looks the better prospect as a left-armer.

    @aq111: I think you've missed the point. Mills is there to be a practice bowler for the England batsmen. I don't think there's much danger of England doing an Agar and picking him for the tests. There are several bowlers sitting in England who would be ahead of Mills in the pecking order- Onions, Jordan, Woakes, to name a few. Barker doesn't offer the same opportunity for practice against a really quick left-armer as Mills does. He's not being overlooked, he simply doesn't fit what England needs right now.

  • on October 25, 2013, 15:03 GMT

    I'm surprised Johnson didn't play in the last Ashes to be honest. He was pretty devastating against Sri Lanka at the end of 2012 and has continued from there.

    He's not just bowling fast, but he's dangerous as the Sri Lankans found out to their peril.

    This is a good move from England though, hopefully with better preparation we won't fail in the 1st test as we always seem to do away from home!

  • Selassie-I on October 25, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    Surely Johnson's form can't continue past 2 ODI series, or so history would tell us that he's due a bad one!

  • aq111 on October 25, 2013, 13:39 GMT

    If England want a left-arm quick how about Keith Barker of Warwickshire? He already averages 28 with the bat and 25 with the ball and is improving further with every season. He's a big lad, hits the deck hard and can swing it both ways. Is he destined to be one of the forgotten men of English Cricket...surely deserves a go before Tymal Mills.

  • CricketingStargazer on October 25, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    This is typical of Andy Flower's careful approach. He wants to avoid any repetition of what happened in the UAE last year. I agree with @jmc: Mitch J. is a curious case. He has been reborn several times, but his match-winning performances in Tests tend to be rare but can be devastating (in the Brisbane Test in 2010 he took an eye-watering 0-170 at 4-an-over but then, after missing the 2nd Test, took 9-82 in the 3rd). His low arm action means that if his timing is just slightly wrong the ball will fly wildly towards second slip. He is Australia's Steve Harmison: you never know what you are going to get, but when it clicks, it can be devastating.

  • jmcilhinney on October 25, 2013, 11:33 GMT

    I don't think that there's any doubt that Johnson is bowling very well at the moment, but he was bowling well in limited-overs cricket even when he was terrible in Tests. It's just hard to know what he'll produce if he does play. His changed run up and action should help but whether he can maintain it through five days is the big question. Nothing can truly prepare you for facing a particular bowler other than facing that bowler but it is prudent for England for to spend some time facing a fast leftie to provide as much preparation as they can. It seems a good move under the circumstances. It will be good experience for Mills regardless and also give the England camp a feel for how he might fit in with the squad if he's picked in future. With him and Topley coming through, England may not be without a left-arm quick for too much longer.

  • on October 25, 2013, 11:25 GMT

    Good news, I like the idea of Mills around the squad. The kid has got proper wheels. If he can stay fit, and bowl straight, he will take a hatful over the course of his career.

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  • on October 25, 2013, 11:25 GMT

    Good news, I like the idea of Mills around the squad. The kid has got proper wheels. If he can stay fit, and bowl straight, he will take a hatful over the course of his career.

  • jmcilhinney on October 25, 2013, 11:33 GMT

    I don't think that there's any doubt that Johnson is bowling very well at the moment, but he was bowling well in limited-overs cricket even when he was terrible in Tests. It's just hard to know what he'll produce if he does play. His changed run up and action should help but whether he can maintain it through five days is the big question. Nothing can truly prepare you for facing a particular bowler other than facing that bowler but it is prudent for England for to spend some time facing a fast leftie to provide as much preparation as they can. It seems a good move under the circumstances. It will be good experience for Mills regardless and also give the England camp a feel for how he might fit in with the squad if he's picked in future. With him and Topley coming through, England may not be without a left-arm quick for too much longer.

  • CricketingStargazer on October 25, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    This is typical of Andy Flower's careful approach. He wants to avoid any repetition of what happened in the UAE last year. I agree with @jmc: Mitch J. is a curious case. He has been reborn several times, but his match-winning performances in Tests tend to be rare but can be devastating (in the Brisbane Test in 2010 he took an eye-watering 0-170 at 4-an-over but then, after missing the 2nd Test, took 9-82 in the 3rd). His low arm action means that if his timing is just slightly wrong the ball will fly wildly towards second slip. He is Australia's Steve Harmison: you never know what you are going to get, but when it clicks, it can be devastating.

  • aq111 on October 25, 2013, 13:39 GMT

    If England want a left-arm quick how about Keith Barker of Warwickshire? He already averages 28 with the bat and 25 with the ball and is improving further with every season. He's a big lad, hits the deck hard and can swing it both ways. Is he destined to be one of the forgotten men of English Cricket...surely deserves a go before Tymal Mills.

  • Selassie-I on October 25, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    Surely Johnson's form can't continue past 2 ODI series, or so history would tell us that he's due a bad one!

  • on October 25, 2013, 15:03 GMT

    I'm surprised Johnson didn't play in the last Ashes to be honest. He was pretty devastating against Sri Lanka at the end of 2012 and has continued from there.

    He's not just bowling fast, but he's dangerous as the Sri Lankans found out to their peril.

    This is a good move from England though, hopefully with better preparation we won't fail in the 1st test as we always seem to do away from home!

  • landl47 on October 25, 2013, 16:53 GMT

    Mills is very fast and very wild. Hmmm- I wonder who England think he might prepare them to face?

    In the long term, if Mills can develop his control, he might be a real candidate for international honours. As of now, Reece Topley looks the better prospect as a left-armer.

    @aq111: I think you've missed the point. Mills is there to be a practice bowler for the England batsmen. I don't think there's much danger of England doing an Agar and picking him for the tests. There are several bowlers sitting in England who would be ahead of Mills in the pecking order- Onions, Jordan, Woakes, to name a few. Barker doesn't offer the same opportunity for practice against a really quick left-armer as Mills does. He's not being overlooked, he simply doesn't fit what England needs right now.

  • SDHM on October 25, 2013, 17:24 GMT

    @aq111 - this isn't about 'who deserves a go' but more about meticulous preparation. Whilst Barker is a fine bowler, he isn't exactly like-for-like with Mitchell Johnson; he's much slower and more of a classic English swing bowler. Mills is quite similar in many ways; a tearaway quick, capable of pure devastation but also of spraying it all over the shop I might add! Just seems good planning from Flower.

  • OhhhhhMattyMatty on October 26, 2013, 0:28 GMT

    Not very useful for England as Mills is actually half decent and can move the ball in the air (probably quicker too!). Therefore he will be preparing them to face some actual decent quick left arm bowling!

    Then Mitchell Johnson will rock up at the GABBA and spray it all over the shop, finishing with figures in the match of 2-232 (Dismissing Jimmy Anderson twice!!!)!

  • Front-Foot-Sponge on October 26, 2013, 7:18 GMT

    Mills might get a game after the England bowlers are battered. It would be good to see, there's nothing like real pace against the top order. I get the feeling Johnson will click this series and will be far to hot to handle for an England top order that was in all sorts of bother during the Ashes. Let's face it, Root is a bunny, Cook may never rediscover his form, Bairstow has had his chance, Trott will get bounced out, Prior hasn't scored a run for a year and Bell can't save the team every game. KP will always make a score here a d there. Talk of 'potential' is nonsense. Yeah it was 3-0 but as another article rightfully mentioned it was a close series and Australia had a crowbar in the safe in every match, even at Lords. They will have learned from that.