Tymal Mills column: You need a Plan B in T20 - and C... and D

Tymal Mills is delighted with his Blast form, and Sussex's / Picture by PW Sporting Photography
Tymal Mills is delighted with his Blast form, and Sussex's / Picture by PW Sporting Photography

It felt like a long wait for this year’s Blast to get under way for me.

Prior to the tournament, I hadn’t played properly since the Pakistan Super League final in mid-March and in the meantime, I tore my hamstring and had to have injections in my back.

It never seems to be a smooth build-up for me, which is frustrating, but I was really pleased to be fit for the start of the competition.

I’ve hit my straps early and contributed to some good performances.

Looking back at the PSL, I bowled really well and have just carried that on back here.

It maybe took me a game to find my rhythm again, get used to bowling up and down the hill at Hove having not done it for the best part of a year, but I feel good.

Wrighty is really good at letting us know which overs he wants us to bowl so we can plan ahead, so when we get out in the middle we can focus on executing those plans.

I’ve played long enough now that I’ve built a reputation and as long as I’m fit, I will be trying to bowl fast.

I’m probably bowling fewer slower balls at the moment just because I feel my pace is right up there and I want to make the most of that.

I’ve been accurate and not been going for boundaries with pace on, so it’s a case of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.

If you hold your slower ball back a bit longer, it also gives it an added element of surprise for the batsman. As the tournament goes on and we start to play on more worn pitches, it might be something I use more often, but it’s good to have different options.

In T20 cricket, you don’t just need a plan B, you need plan C and D as well. The Somerset match was probably the first game of this year’s Blast where I felt I needed to go to something a bit different.

This time it was going to wide yorkers outside the off-stump fairly early with short leg-side boundaries to right-handed batsmen.

It’s about being game-smart and I’ve played enough cricket now to know what needs to be done in certain circumstances.

Talking of experience, we’ve got a bowling attack full of internationals. We make sure we’re vocal about that out in the middle to try to put teams under pressure. We like to remind them there are no easy overs coming and that if they get behind the rate early it’s going to be tough to drag it back.

That Somerset match is a good example. I never thought we were losing that game even when they were none down after eight overs, I was confident we were winning as they just weren’t scoring enough runs and there weren’t any obvious overs for them to target. If we can post 165 or 170 as a minimum in most games, then we’ll go out thinking we can defend it.

As bowlers, we are brimming with confidence at the moment. We haven’t had a bad game so far though of course it is T20 cricket and bad games will come, but we back ourselves to have more good games than bad.

At the other end of the batting order, Alex Carey has been a great addition to the dressing room. He’s a cracking bloke. I know from being an overseas player in foreign leagues, it’s a relief to put in early performances to establish yourself in a new team so he will be chuffed to get those runs at Somerset.

It’s great also that we’ve got him for the whole tournament as it can be tough when you lose a star player just as the business end of a competition arrives.