Tymal Mills has been told the hard work is paying dividends – as England talk starts.

Sussex coach James Kirtley is convinced the fast bowler would be better equipped were he to be recalled than he was when he won the most recent of his five T20 caps in 2018.

But he will be happy to see the 28-year-old putting his skills to good use in the Vitality Blast for now.

Mills will aim for a third impressive performance inside a week when Kent visit Hove tonight (7pm).

His form has been the brightest spot of some testing times of late.

Be it In the controversially curtailed match against Surrey or the under-performing defeat by Gloucestershire last Friday.

His battles of wits with batsmen are intriguing to watch as he combines speed of thought with speed of delivery.

No one appreciates that more than Kirtley.

The former Sussex and England fast bowler said: “It would be great for Tymal to be recognised. I think he is bowling brilliantly.

“I see an improved Tymal. He has worked really hard over the winter.

“He has worked on his fielding and we saw in his batting he has been hitting a lot of balls.

“His desire to be back at international level is a high one.

“As much as I don’t want to lose another bowler of the class of Tymal, we have made it very clear we are very keen to produce cricketers for England.

“I know he has played before but I think he is a better version of the bowler he was two or three years ago.

“If he gets a chance to go again, I’m sure he would do well.”

Mills has come back strongly late in innings in those two recent games.

Kirtley said: “Its how smart he has bowled his last two overs.

“The ball was probably going at 15 an over at the time and he probably went for below seven.

“If you go by stats, he holds a really good place in that defensive element of bowling.

“He has worked really hard this winter after a tough injury.

“We have made a couple of tweaks. He has got his pace back up.

“We saw that in the first game at Hove (versus Hampshire) when he clocked 92.6mph so that on its own would be hard enough.

“But he has got the skill and the ability to shift length as well, which I think is real growth for Tymal.”

Chris Jordan is back from England duty but his participation was cut short on Sunday by a groin problem.

Sussex will make a late call on the all-rounder and have added Mitch Claydon to the squad.

Kirtley said: “I think it was a wise decision to pull him out. I was very comfortable with that.

“We talked at length about playing and he was keen to play.

“You can’t always get the perfect conditions to play in.


“He just lost his footing when he was attacking the ball in the field.

“We will assess it and make sure he is in the best possible place.

“Our priority is always the player. We have sufficient talent within the squad.

“We have always said we are going to need the whole squad for this campaign.”