Cricket: Mills due to feature in T20 champs despite collision

By David Leggat

Kyle Mills. Photo / APN
Kyle Mills. Photo / APN

New Zealand's senior seamer Kyle Mills is expected to be fit for the start of the world T20 championship.

Mills was involved in a sickening collision with man of the match Brendon McCullum as they clattered into each other attempting a catch during New Zealand's final-ball win over India in Chennai yesterday.

He sustained some mild concussion, bruises and grazing, but it could have been considerably worse. The outlook for the 31-year-old is encouraging with the expectation he'll be fit for the opening group D game against Bangladesh on September 21.

"You could just see it happening the whole way," captain Ross Taylor said yesterday. "It was such a noisy crowd you couldn't hear yourself talking. When [team-mate] Rob Nicol put 'Millsy' into the recovery position straight away it was pretty scary."

New Zealand's one-run win took their T20 record against India to 4-and-0, which Taylor is proud of, given the difficulties of winning in India, and it provided a timely fillip after a depressing couple of months in the West Indies and the tests against India.

As for what it does to New Zealand's ambitions to win the title in Sri Lanka, Taylor trod a cautious line.

"I guess you should always believe that," he said. "Our main focus is on the first two games [Bangladesh and Pakistan] and getting through to the next round. We are in the toughest pool. Our first game will be a tough one. But we have two warmups [against Australia and South Africa] and will continue to work on our combinations ..."

McCullum's bracing 91 off 55 balls steered New Zealand to 167 for five; a cool-headed finish with the ball by James Franklin, with 13 required off the final over, restricted India to 166 for four.

New Zealand need to get offspinner Nathan McCullum involved in the warmups as he's expected to figure in the first choice XI. Seamer Tim Southee, rested after picking up a slight niggle in the second test, still appeals as Taylor's go-to bowler in the critical closing overs, Franklin's strong performance yesterday notwithstanding.

New Zealand play Australia on Saturday at the quaint Nondescripts Cricket Club in Colombo.

- NZ Herald

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