Dubai: Kyle Mills, Kolkata Knight Rider’s new bowling coach says that the talking is over and that it’s now time to “roll up our sleeves and get cracking” for the Indian Premier League, which begins next month in the UAE.
In an interview published in the popular ‘Unplugged’ series on the KKR website, Mills, the former New Zealand cricket captain touched on a variety of issues that will come into play when the two-time champions attempt win back the trophy they claimed in 2012 and 2014.
Mills, who says he has a passion for helping people get better, believes that his boys have the ability to win the 13th edition of the T20 tournament, which will kick-off in Dubai on September 19.
When asked how he got involved with KKR for the upcoming 13th season of the IPL, Mills said: “I love the concept of trying to help people. Took me a long time to say yes after being asked by Venky (Mysore) to come and be a part of the group. I have been following KKR from the very beginning of the IPL and they are definitely one of the top franchises. I spoke to Venky over the phone. I guess he was looking for a shift not just in the performance but just the way they approach the game and move forward. That kind of inspired me a little bit as well.
“I know Baz (Brendon McCullum) and his coaching style very well. So, being a part of the side is definitely quite an exciting thing for me. The IPL is a short campaign compared to international cricket. Over a short time, you try to build a team with a bunch of different coaches. The main goal is to win the cup and I believe we have a group to achieve such a thing.”
Between Mills, McCullum and David Hussey, KKR has a strong backroom staff, something that is key for Mills, and he has had lengthy talks with his fellow coaches despite the coronavirus lockdown.
“I think we have had enough conversations. We just need to get in, roll up our sleeves and get cracking. I have spoken to Hussey, Brendon and (strength and conditioning coach Chris) Donaldson as well. We just want to get started and improve the squad. See, Brendon has achieved so much in the game of cricket and so has Hussey. They have a rich history in IPL and also with KKR. So, they have a deep understanding of how KKR operates. All three of us are very young as coaches but we can definitely bring in fresh ideas and excitement to the side. We are really looking forward to it.”
With young bowlers Prasidh Krishna, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Sandeep Warrier and Shivam Mavi in the KKR ranks, Mills cannot wait to get started.
“I have been in touch with all the guys over Whatsapp calling and chat messages," he said. "I think we are very lucky that our fast bowling group is really young, fresh and keen. They have potential galore, that’s the most exciting thing. They all bowl good pace, with speed of 140kmph and above. That’s really a nice skill set to have. I am really looking forward to face-to-face contacts with them, go for trainings and pass on my experience to them as to how a T20 game should be played from the bowling perspective. India visited NZ earlier this year. I called Kuldeep to discuss about spin-bowling, his experiences of the past and also how his career is panning out.”