Kevin Pietersen believes the injury sustained by the “irreplaceable” Tymal Mills is what cost England a spot in the T20 World Cup final.
Left-arm quick Mills took seven wickets in four matches at the tournament before a thigh strain sustained against Sri Lanka ruled him out of the remaining fixtures.
Having not played for England for four years prior to the start of the tournament, Mills was cast into the role of his side’s death-bowling expert, mixing up high pace with slower balls. Building upon his reputation in T20 leagues as a unique operator at the back-end of an innings, Mills proved to be a key contributor in England’s fine start to the World Cup, playing in all four of their wins in the UAE.
In his absence, England succumbed to defeats against South Africa and New Zealand, and Pietersen said Mills’ absence was a crucial factor in their semi-final exit.
“I’m pretty confident I’d be previewing a final which England were likely to win if Tymal Mills hadn’t been injured for their semi-final against New Zealand,” the former England batter told Betway.
“Mills was the only irreplaceable player in England’s squad. Jason Roy went down, but Jonny Bairstow could shuffle up the order. They had plenty of spare batsmen, right-arm and left-arm seamers, and even Liam Livingstone’s spin has been a revelation.
“But Mills was an unknown quantity to several opposition in this competition and has skills nobody else does. He bowls incredibly fast, he has great changes of pace. He was a fabulous selection. England were poor at the death on Wednesday, so it’s fair to say that Mills’ injury has cost them the World Cup.”