England are desperate not to heap too much pressure on “dangerous” paceman Tymal Mills, according to Eoin Morgan.
Morgan will lead England into a one-off Twenty20 clash with Sri Lanka at Southampton’s Ageas Bowl today, with Sussex’s Mills in line for his debut.
Captain Morgan admitted his excitement at unleashing one of the quickest bowlers he has ever faced on the T20 stage, but issued a note of caution against overburdening the 23-year-old.
Mills’ congenital back condition limits his cricket career to T20, but Morgan hailed his tenacity for striking the right balance of rest and effort to maximise his time on the square.
“I am excited, but at the same time you don’t want to get so excited you put the guy under pressure,” said Morgan of Mills. “It’s quite a relaxed atmosphere within the changing room and we want it to continue like that.
“Yes, we want to see him play for a long period of time. But you want to stay relaxed and calm so that he’s in the same frame of mind as you are at the time.
“I’ve faced him before, and I know exactly what he can do. If he lives up to expectations he’ll be pretty dangerous.”
Mills and Dawid Malan could both make their debuts in today’s south-coast clash.
Morgan confirmed Liam Dawson will definitely make his T20 bow, while James Vince will also feature.
Mills bullied Chris Gayle in action for Sussex against Somerset last month, eventually dismissing the West Indies star with a yorker that registered 93.3mph.
England’s short-format captain Morgan sees no reason why Mills cannot repeat such blistering turns at international level, but insisted his fitness must remain a constant priority.
“When you talk about 95 miles an hour it’s absolutely ridiculous, it’s like bowling off 15 yards,” he said.
“If you face it coming straight in it’s so difficult. But if you face it after you’ve had a couple of balls you can cope with it a lot better.
“Having someone in your team you can throw the ball to and someone who can just bowl that quick, that always causes problems and I think Mills is in that category.
“I’d like to think he can go well now, the management of him has been a big part in his progress.
“I’d love it if he could bowl like that all the time. It would be great. But the ability to bowl over 90mph doesn’t come pretty easily.”
Sri Lanka head coach Graham Ford challenged his men to produce a performance to ease their flight home at the end of a tough tour.
Following one-day and Test series losses, however, Ford knows Sri Lanka face another stern examination in the one-off T20 clash.
Michael Vaughan this week labelled England’s current one-day set-up the best he has seen, and former Surrey coach Ford backed that claim.
Asked if he agreed with Vaughan’s assertion, Ford said: “Without a doubt, certainly from what I’ve seen.
“Over the years I don’t think England really paid enough attention to their white-ball cricket – Test cricket was what it was all about.
“Now they seem to be putting an equal amount of attention into one-day cricket. I was always aware there were fantastically talented white-ball players, but they often didn’t get picked.
“But now they seem to be getting the right guys in the right roles, producing some extremely exciting and dangerous stuff, and maybe that’s something for us to look at and get some ideas about.
“Hopefully quite a number of our players have grown as cricketers even though we haven’t had the results we wanted. Although we’ve come second I think there has been some progress.”