‘I always back myself to do well’: Tymal Mills is ready to prove that he is not an IPL flop as the fast bowler targets more T20 joy with England
- Tymal Mills struggled after he signed for Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2017
- The Sussex fast bowler, 29, wants to have another crack at the IPL this year
- Mills is one of four left-arm pacemen in England’s squad for West Indies T20s
Tymal Mills is intent on adding to his Twenty20 resurgence by proving he is not an Indian Premier League flop.
Sussex fast bowler Mills became an overnight millionaire in 2017 when he signed for Royal Challengers Bangalore for £1.4million but after just five wickets in as many matches there have been no suitors since.
However, after establishing himself in England’s short-form plans again last summer following a four-year hiatus, the 29-year-old is in confident mood and keen on a second chance when the so-called ‘mega-auction’ takes place on February 12 and 13.
Tymal Mills struggled after he signed for IPL side Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2017
‘Fingers crossed. I haven’t been to the IPL since I was first picked five years ago and that’s a long time,’ Mills said.
‘It obviously didn’t go as well as I’d have liked. I got injured during the tournament and I’m very keen to get back and right some wrongs. Hopefully, I’d give a better account of myself and a series like this is obviously a great chance to put in some good performances.’
Mills, one of four left-arm pacemen in England’s squad for the five matches in the Caribbean to which he refers, arrived in Barbados on the back of strong form in Australia’s Big Bash League, where he bagged a dozen wickets in seven matches for Perth and only went at a tad over seven runs per over.
Confidence must be high then given the evidence of the past few months? ‘I don’t get overawed too easily. I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs in my career and I’m quite good at keeping things within context,’ he reflected.
Mills is one of four left-arm pacemen in England’s squad for the T20s against West Indies
‘I’ve been lucky enough to play franchise cricket all around the world so I’m not going to be intimidated by crowds or opponents. Right or wrong, I always back myself to do well, and I will continue to do that, try to stick to my process and see how we go.
‘You never know how T20 is going to go. It’s a very volatile game in which you can bowl amazingly one game and terribly the next, and have two completely different results so it’s all about staying grounded.
‘It was obviously great at the time to be back in the World Cup squad and then to play in every game I was fit for and play a big role — just because you get called up to a squad it doesn’t mean you’re going to play games — was nice. Unfortunately, though, I then pulled my quad.’
Injuries have shaped Mills’ career and continue to do so. A congenital back condition — the gap between his spinal cord and vertebrae is much smaller than the average person — turned him into a 20-over specialist at the age of 22.
Mills (pictured here for Perth Scorchers) wants another crack at the Indian Premier League
And he’s selective about the number of gigs he takes on the short-format circuit, missing the impending Pakistan Super League, for example.
‘I’ve learned with my body that I need to find windows to come out and get back into direct training. It’s tough when you’re fit and bowling well because the temptation is to cash in but after this I will be going home and spending a bit of time at home with my family,’ he said.
During that period, he will discover whether that shot at IPL redemption will be forthcoming.