His absence would leave England short on death-bowling options; any of Curran, Wood and Willey could replace Mills
Mills, England’s joint-highest wicket-taker in the tournament, left the field after nine balls of his spell, immediately calling for a substitute fielder, Sam Billings, to replace him and heading straight to the dressing room. He was assessed by England’s medical team after the game and will now undergo a scan to determine the extent of the injury.
A serious injury would represent a blow both for Mills and for England. Mills had not played for his country since February 2017 ahead of this World Cup after a long battle with injuries – including a stress fracture last winter which forced him to wear a back brace for three months – and had started the tournament brightly with figures of 2 for 17 against the West Indies and 3 for 27 against Bangladesh. He was expensive against Australia and Sri Lanka, but his pace, left-arm angle and ability to bowl through the middle and at the death helped him balance England’s attack.
An injury to Mills would leave England short on death-bowling options other than Chris Jordan, with Tom Curran the only unused squad member who bowls a high percentage of his overs at the end of an innings. Any of Curran, Mark Wood and David Willey could replace Mills in a straight swap, or England may consider rebalancing their side, leaving out a batter and bringing in two seamers to give them more options with the ball.
Wood is yet to play in this World Cup after reporting an ankle injury following England’s final warm-up game against New Zealand, and did not warm up with the rest of the squad in Sharjah. Curran, meanwhile, was unavailable for their win against Bangladesh in Abu Dhabi but had a long bowl in the middle on Monday night.
Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98