Essex’s Reece Topley and Tymal Mills could be England Ashes stars of the future
- Credit: Nick Wood/Actionplus
The answer to England’s Ashes woes may well lie close to home, provided speed merchants Tymal Mills and Reece Topley continue to progress at pace.
Alastair Cook’s side meekly surrendered their grip on the Ashes yesterday, going an insurmountable 3-0 down in the best-of-five series, after a 150-run defeat in Perth.
The Essex CCC duo recently returned from the England Performance Programme (EPP) Down Under with Mildenhall-based Mills, in particular, leaving his mark on England’s senior batsmen in the nets – the 21-year-old’s pace and power being used to warm up Alastair Cook’s top-order.
“You have got to earn the right to get into the Test side. This was a great opportunity to showcase what I am all about, to put myself in the shop window as it were,” said Mills.
England have been torn apart by the ferocity and aggression of Australia’s Mitchell Johnson and the Townsville-born bowler is someone the frighteningly fast Mills admires, if not models his game on.
“I would not say he is an influence on me, everyone goes about their business in their own way,” explained Mills.
“So he is not someone I am trying to emulate in that sense, but of course to have the sort of success he is having at the moment would be great.
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“Obviously we (Mills, Topley and David Willey) do offer something a bit different and England have not had that for a while but I know I have to get a couple of seasons of county cricket under my belt.”
Ipswich-born Topley, meanwhile, has become one of the most feared left-arm seamers in five-day and limited overs cricket, but the 19-year-old believes his displays in front of the England selectors are key.
“I don’t think the selectors look that much into how many wickets you have taken. But if you impress on this programme, I think that’s your way in,” said the son of former Essex star Don.
“Each game is an opportunity. If I can keep picking up the four-fers and five-fers, then look back on each season and say that I have done well – everything else will just fall in its place.”
Follow the England Performance Programme squad and their progress this winter at www.ecb.co.uk/epp