DAVID Masters has urged England to be patient with Essex’s emerging young paceman Tymal Mills.
In the wake of the Ashes surrender, the 21-year-old left-armer has been touted as a future Test star by the likes of former England captain Michael Vaughan and spinner Phil Tufnell. But the experienced Masters says caution needs to be shown with his young teammate.
He said: “Tymal’s got all the attributes, no doubt, but I would not want to see him thrown in too early because he still has a lot to learn about the game.
“I know he’s on the fast-track kind of system but there’s nothing like getting experience and he needs to get that playing first-class cricket for Essex.
“And to do that he needs to win his place in Essex’s side and experience a few of the hard times.”
Suffolk-born Mills has shot to prominence after travelling to Australia as part of England’s development programme and caught the eye with his blistering, 90mph pace against the county’s top batsmen in the nets.
Speaking after England’s whitewash defeat to Australia this winter, Vaughan has led the calls for Mills to get a call-up as England’s fourth bowler and Tufnell agrees he would offer the side some genuine pace.
But Mills is by no means a regular for Essex having played in just five of their Championship games last season, where he claimed six wickets at an average of 66.
Masters said: “He is very quick and pace is something to want in international cricket.
“But at the top level you still need to get the ball in the right areas because if you don’t you will get hit all around the park.
“Tymal is a very good prospect, but he is still only a prospect.
“So it’s great that England are getting excited about him but it would not be good to put too much pressure on him at this stage.”
Vaughan has called for Essex to give Mills more chances to play to help him develop as a cricket, but Masters says he needs to earn his place in the side on merit.
He said: “We’re a professional club and we still need to concentrate on winning games of cricket. Tymal needs to prove he’s good enough to play for Essex before he can prove he’s good enough to play for England.
“I know as a club a priority for us is to produce good young players for England and I think our record on doing that is better than most.
So I don’t think they can get on Essex’s back too much because it’s down to Tymal to prove he’s available to play at any level.”