The 23-year-old Brandon-raised bowler, who learned his trade at Tuddenham and Mildenhall, has been called up for a one-off Twenty20 to conclude a one-day series against Sri Lanka.
Mills is hoping to make his England debut in that T20 at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton on Tuesday, July 5 – after shining for Sussex in the Natwest T20 Blast recently.
Bayliss saw enough in one England Performance Programme bowling session last winter, though – and Cook plenty when they were Essex team-mates – to buy into the Mills factor.
Bayliss said: “I’ve only seen him at the one practice in South Africa, and the reaction of our batters at the time said enough.
“There was plenty of them lining up in the spinners’ net to have a bat to stay away from him.”
Mills has a congenital back problem which is preventing him from playing first-class cricket, so he is targeting becoming a T20 specialst.
Bayliss added: “He gives us something different and an unpredictable type of bowler, left-armer – and he has been bowling well in T20 matches.
“It will be exciting to see what he’s got.”
The former Mildenhall College pupil – who played junior football for Thetford Town and Brandon Lads before picking up cricket at 14 – took the wicket of West Indies star Chris Gayle with a 93mph yorker in a televised match, helping to give his profile a boost.
“The guy can bowl quickly,” added Cook.
“Seeing a glimpse of him the other day at Hove, he’s obviously worked on his skills as well – the ‘change-up’ from a 93mph thunderbolt to a slower ball. It’s a shame his back has robbed him of first-class cricket, but he seems to have thrown all his efforts into becoming a really skilful one-day bowler.” (Courtesy Eastern Daily Press)