Desert Vipers skipper Colin Monro (left) with left-arm pacer Tymal Mills (centre) and UAE's Ali Nasser. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Desert Vipers are ready for the start of the DP World ILT20 in a couple of days and skipper Colin Monro has kept the winning equation quite simple by saying team’s strength on paper is not good enough as long as it doesn’t translate on the field.

Addressing the media during the jersey launch in Dubai on Monday, the well-travelled New Zealander said he is excited to be part of the inaugural Twenty20 league and is looking forward to start the campaign on a positive note.

“Red is my favourite colour and I am confident that could win the tournament,” he said wearing the red match jersey. “We have class players all the way down and tough to leave some of them out. We could call upon different variations in bowling and batting. It’s a great team on paper, but cricket is won on the field, so we have to start the tournament well and get the right momentum and, hopefully, go all the way,” Monro added.

Potent squad

The Vipers have a very potent squad that includes a few from the recent Twenty20 World Cup-winning England team. Opener Alex Hales and left-arm pacer Tymal Mills are eager to strike along with star players like Wanindu Hasaranga, Tom Curran and Sam Billings.

The UAE wickets are known to assist the spinners, but England pacer Mills is happy to play on the spin-friendly pitches and aims to use all his past experiences to guide the Vipers to their maiden crown.

“I have played a lot of cricket on these wickets, like PSL and international games. So I am familiar with all the grounds and nothing is going to surprise me. I have enough experience on these grounds to know what to do,” said a confident Mills.

“Personally, I wanted to put in some match-winning performances with the ball and obviously wanted to be one of the leaders within the team. I also wanted to help young UAE players who are with us as well,” he added.

Twenty20 has evolved over the years and the gruelling schedule has also put a lot of stress on the pacers, who suffer from frequent injuries. The England pacer has simple solutions for both, keeping the batters in check and staying injury free.

“In T20, every ball can win a match. Even if the first four balls of the over has gone badly, you can take wickets on the fifth and sixth that could go on to win the match. You should never give up on an over,” he said, adding that he relishes to bowl on the big moments in the game like the powerplay and death overs.

What will be his thought process during those big moments?

“I normally keep things tight. If you are not going for runs then you put the batters under pressure,” he added.

Injury free

Mills has had several career-threatening injuries and suggests rest as the trick to stay injury free.

“Hard to stay away from injuries, I have had many myself. It’s tricky. You have to manage yourselves and should know when to take some time off. Turn down an opportunity. You cannot just play 12 months a year, then you will be physically and mentally burnt out. You have to be smart about it,” the left-arm pacer offered a simple solution.

The pacer feels it is great time for English cricket and the freedom that the players enjoy to play their roles is translating on the team’s success in all three formats of the game.

“It’s a great time to be an English cricketer at the moment, no matter what the format is. We have a great atmosphere and environment that allows us to go out on the field and execute our plan. We have the freedom and the coach has empowered the players,” he concluded with a sense of pride.