Before the start of the T20 series against India, England fast bowler Tymal Mills made no bones about the fact that he sees this three-match rubber as the perfect platform to show his skills in this format ahead of the IPL 2017 auction.
Chris Jordan was another bowler looking to earn some big bucks courtesy a strong performance in the India vs England T20 series, after losing his place in the ODI setup and being released by RCB.
Coming into a series on the back of three one-day internationals which had scores well in excess of 300 – the first two crossed 350 – was a daunting task, but boy have Mills and Jordan delivered for England with the ball.
The manner in which both the bowlers have shown control early in the innings and at the death has been impressive.
Mills came into this India vs England series as a much talked about talent, one who can bowl quick and trouble the batsmen with his extra pace. But, what has stood out the most are his variations – Mills is clearly no one-trick pony, there is a lot more in his locker.
Chief of them being the back-of-the-hand slower ball, which has befuddled the batsmen on quite a few occasions in this series. The key for Mills is to know when to use what variation and going by the first two matches, he certainly looks keyed in on that aspect.
It is difficult to judge a bowler over just two matches, but Mills has certainly shown he has the T20 chops and why England rate him so highly.
Jordan is a much more known quantity. The main problem with the Englishman was his consistency, or lack thereof. Too many times, Jordan would spray the ball all over the place and, as a result, concede too many runs.
While he did not have the greatest of IPLs last season, it is difficult to judge a bowler who bowls most of the time at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. That ground is made for the batsmen, and unless you are universal class, like a Mitchell Starc, you will go for runs.
Give Jordan a bigger boundary, and he is likely to do a really good job, especially in the death overs, where he can bring out the changes of pace and zone in those yorkers at will. What both Jordan and Mills showed is that they can adapt and bowl well on different wickets.
The pitch in Kanpur had more pace to it and they quickly realised hitting hard lengths was the key.
Nagpur's wicket was a slower one, so the change of pace was brought to the fore with great effect.
Both these bowlers are likely to get tonked in the third T20 in Bengaluru – as most bowlers in the world do – but the IPL franchises would have taken note of these two performances from the two England bowlers – or they should – and as long as they are available for the entire length of the IPL – Mills only plays T20 cricket anyway – they might be worth taking a punt on, when the auction comes into play on Saturday.