The Silent Performer: Kyle Mills

Kyle Mills was the top ODI performer in the world in 2009

I bring to you the fourth and final installment of the Black Cap interviews. Kyle Mills was kind enough to spare some time and talk to me at the HRV media event in mid-Novemeber. This interview is prior to the Australian series of course

 You were for quite a considerable period of time ranked consistently as the number one ODI bowler in the world. Any particular reason for success in the limited overs format specifically?

I guess the main reason was the exposure that I got early in ODI Cricket. I had been given a chance to play at the International level much before I got to wear a Test Cap and that experience I think has boosted my performance in the ODI format. Some thing like that also becomes a goal, that you start striving for once you have had a taste of it, and you want to keep the honor for as long as possible. So I was really content when I got there and was able to remain high in the rankings for the amount of time that I did.

What’s your take on the much more frequent nature of injuries that fast bowlers are exposed to in current Cricket?

 Look, I think in my mind the amount of Cricket being played these days is just so much that there is not any respite for fast bowlers. It is one of the most un-natural things to do   –fast bowling, and especially when you are at the international level where it is so competitive and excruciating it definitely takes it’s toll on the body. I think a balance will have to be struck somewhere. You already see players leaving the longer formats to just play One Day and T20, or doing the reverse in the form of players like Clarke and Johnston who want to concentrate on just Tests.

In the end it’s a personal choice for players on what they see as a better fit for them. Remember this is also their livelihood, so I won’t judge them on what they choose. I also think that we will start seeing rotation being applied a lot more than it is being currently where players start getting rested from tours, it has started already but we will see much more of it in the future if the amount of Cricket remains the same.

What do you prefer personally?

Test Cricket is definitely the hardest form of the game and at the same time also the most rewarding. I think deep down every Cricketer would want to excel at the Test Level and prove their mantle in the longest format.

Tour against Australia coming up, how does it feel to be missing out due to injury?

I am desperate to get back into the Test fold, unfortunately an abductor tear in the Zimbabwe ODI series has sidelined me from Tests. I will be playing domestic Cricket here in N.Z but of course missing out on an Australian tour is a big blow. I don’t think it gets bigger for a N.Z Cricketer and I would have loved to be out there

Especially now when Australia have seen the departure of greats like Warne, McGrath and Gilchrist and come back to the pack a bit. No respect to the current side but this teams looks much more beatable and I think our boys will give them a very tough time in their back yard.

Whoe was your favorite Cricketer growing up wanting to be a fast bowler?

That’s a very simple question to answer, I think most Cricketers from this country have grown up watching Sir Richard Hadlee or watching video of him. He is by far the best Cricketer we have ever produced in my mind and is definitely the guy I looked up to most when growing up.

You have played a lot of Limited Overs Cricket and we have seen a massive shift towards giving the edge to batting in the format, your thoughts on that as a batter?

I agree conditions and pitches are pretty much becoming flatter and easier for batsman across the board, especially in ODI Cricket. It’s not easy being a fast bowler in these conditions and the biggest difference I see is the lack of bounce in pitches these days. But I do think that bowlers and fast bowlers in particular will adapt as a group and you will see them coming up with different techniques and ploys to wrest the initiative away from batsmen. Cricket is a constantly evolving game and the batsman may be having their time now but I see the bowlers fighting back to balance things out in the near future.

Something I have noticed personally is that you are able to comeback well in matches. You might get hit around early but are able to come back. Bowlers around the world, Umar Gul jumps to mind, find it very difficult to bounce back in the same match, do you have any suggestions?

I think as a bowler you have to concentrate on the ball that you are about to bowl. What ever has happened before doesn’t matter and the only thing you can change and effect is how you bowl the balls coming up especially the one you are just about to bowl. Concentrating on that particular delivery helps. It takes a bit of mental toughness though and is not easy. It also depends on the personality of the bowler and if he lets himself get carried away when the batsman is on top. Going off the field for a couple of minutes and getting your head straight is not a bad option in such times.

The best batsman you have had the “pleasure” of bowling to?

Without a doubt Sachin Tendulkar, I guess his record speaks for himself but he was the toughest I have bowled to as well. Really hard to figure out, as a bowler where to bowl to him, when he is on song.

Any stories you can tell of playing Pakistan?

I really enjoy playing the Pakistani boys. They are a very nice bunch to play against and definitely one or two of them are real characters. I don’t have stories particularly but Saeed Ajmal is a great character. I am always trying to predict when he would bowl the Doosra to me. I have many a conversation with him off the park as well and I enjoy playing him. There are a number of guys who are great to play against but a side that is very hard to predict. Sometimes they are absolutely unbeatable and on other occasions they just tend to roll over almost, but all in all a quality side.

World Cup 2015 at home, what do you reckon…. will be playing by the time it rolls around?

I would definitely love to play in it for sure, but it all depends on how the body copes I guess. I tend to re-assess things after every season and that is only how far I plan to look out for now. But it would be a great honor to represent your home side in front of your home crowd. I remember the 92 World Cup when the team did extremely well until Pakistan knocked us out…. Inzamam completely smashed us I remember. Was a young guy then and it was certainly a great inspiration for me as a Cricketer. Lets see how things go, fingers crossed I guess.

Originally for


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Mohammad Ibrahim Hussain on December 20, 2011 at 8:14 am

    I really like the interview, a typical fast bowler interview. I think he is right. The rotation policy for cricket should be implemented if they want to keep the players fit.


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