The Hundred’s finals day but, whisper it quietly, England’s first match at the Twenty20 World Cup is just 65 days away.
Last-minute preparations are being made for the tournament in the UAE and Oman, but England’s hopes of becoming world champions in both white-ball formats took a blow the equivalent of a heavyweight’s right hook earlier this month when Jofra Archer, their superstar fast bowler, was ruled out with injury.
However, could one bowler on show in The Hundred’s finale this weekend, whose most recent T20 for England came back in 2017, be the best possible replacement?
Why Tymal Mills is the bowler England need
To put it simply, no fast bowler anywhere in the world concedes fewer runs in the crucial final stages of an innings than Tymal Mills, whose Southern Brave side play in Friday’s eliminator.
His economy rate in the ‘death overs’ is 7.47 – better than Archer, better than Australia’s Mitchell Starc and India’s Jasprit Bumrah.
Injury – Mills was diagnosed with a congenital back condition in 2015 – has largely prevented him from playing too much for England in that time but, when fit, the left-arm quick has travelled to play in T20 leagues in India, Australia, Pakistan and Bangladesh, while also impressing for Sussex and even working as a BBC radio and television pundit.
An international recall would not be out of the blue. Earlier this year, England skipper Eoin Morgan name-checked Mills as a bowler who could force their way into the reckoning with a good, and injury-free, Hundred.
Mills has done just that with the second-best death economy for a pace bowler in the group stage after Birmingham Phoenix’s New Zealander Adam Milne.
The 29-year-old has bowled a number of impressive spells, none more so than against London Spirit when he and Chris Jordan closed out a win despite the Spirit needing only 12 from the last 10 balls.
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