Tymal Mills arrives in Sri Lanka for England Lions tour ahead of big season for the Suffolk fast bowler

Tymal Mills in action for Essex. Picture: Nick Wood/Actionplus

Tymal Mills in action for Essex. Picture: Nick Wood/Actionplus - Credit: Nick Wood/Actionplus

Brandon bowler Tymal Mills is preparing for an important season, as he looks to justify predictions that he could have the talent to become a full England international.

The paceman, who can bowl at speeds of over 90mph, was in Australia to shadow the England squad during the Ashes whitewash this winter as part of the ECB Performance Programme.

Now he is embarking on a tour of Sri Lanka with the England Lions, alongside the likes of Jonny Bairstow and Chris Woakes.

It starts a year when the 21-year-old hopes to fulfil his potential, which also means success with his county, Essex.

His county coach, Paul Grayson, is all too aware of the importance of the season, saying: 'He's exciting, he's raw and we know he's got genuine pace. But he needs to play more cricket. We know that's our responsibility and something we'll work on.'

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Mills was used by England batsmen, including Alastair Cook and Ian Bell, as they tried to prepare for the pace of Australia's Mitchell Johnson in the nets. He also took seven wickets in two Performance Programme games while Down Under and is looking to continue his development in Sri Lanka, where the squad arrived yesterday.

'We've had a good sit down, the bowlers and everybody hear about how we are going to go about our business,' Mills told the ECB's website.

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'Obviously we have got to be very disciplined, but we've got to believe that we can take wickets and not just necessarily leave it up to the spinners. We've got to think there's wickets to be taken there by the seamers. It will be a good challenge and hopefully we'll be up to it.'

He added: 'You don't know who is going to be watching, all you can ever do is your best but I'm looking pretty short term. Obviously there is this tour coming up and then going into the Championship with Essex, I need to have a good year and some good performances with Essex.

'I've probably not been as good as I would have liked to have been in Championship cricket, so they're my first ports of call really.

'I don't want to lose my pace, that's my X-Factor as such. I've had a really good winter so far I've just been making sure my lines and lengths are as consistent as possible.

'Obviously I'm not the finished article so I'm not going to get it right 100pc but as long as I keep improving, I'll be pretty happy.'

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