Willey no fan of Kumar tactics during opening Vitality IT20
The India bowler twice pulled out of his action during his side’s eight-wicket win over England.
David Willey has queried whether India’s Bhuvneshwar Kumar was playing within the ‘spirit of cricket’ when he twice pulled out of his action in India’s opening Vitality IT20 victory.
The tourists trounced England by eight wickets at Old Trafford, and can therefore wrap up the three-match series in Cardiff on Friday evening.
A match notable for England’s travails against the spin of Kuldeep Yadav also featured a minor fracas between Willey and Kumar.
The England all-rounder described the incident as “something and nothing” – but having waved Kumar away in Manchester, wondered out loud whether it was right for the seamer to twice abort his action while he legitimately moved in his crease 22 yards away.
“I’m guessing – but I think he was looking to see what I was going to do,” he said.
“I’m not sure what the rules are on that. I don’t particularly like it – I don’t think it is necessarily in the spirit of cricket.
“Personally I don’t think I’d do that. I don’t think it is great.”
I don’t particularly like it - I don’t think it is necessarily in the spirit of cricket. David Willey
Willey is no shrinking presence in the middle, and he said: “I don’t mind a bit of confrontation.
“If it comes my way I am quite happy to get involved, (but) we are advised to play cricket and leave those antics to other people.”
After being flummoxed by Kuldeep’s left-arm wrist-spin, England perhaps have more pressing concerns than an occasional phantom delivery.
Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root were both stumped for golden ducks, as England lost three wickets in four balls.
Willey suspects, however, that a little more familiarity with Kuldeep will work in their favour.
“People come in, a little bit of unknown…you’re maybe not 100 per cent sure how someone’s going to bowl.
“It can baffle you a little bit.
“But our numbers against spin are brilliant, unbelievable, and we’ll come back.
“No doubt tomorrow will be a different outcome.
“It was just one of them days, someone took a few wickets.”
Take a bow, Kuldeep Yadav! The young spinner recorded magnificent figures of 5/24 as England are restricted to 159/8 despite Jos Buttler's excellent 69. Don't miss the second half of this game! 🔥#ENGvIND LIVE ➡️ https://t.co/19gUSbDEHh pic.twitter.com/pMaLf9qsNt— ICC (@ICC) July 3, 2018
England will not waste undue energy fretting.
“We don’t get het-up on one little thing like that,” said Willey.
“Yes, it cost us in that last game, but we don’t dwell on things like that.
“We go out and we play our way, and everyone has full confidence in our batters that tomorrow will be a different story.”
England have called up an old friend to help them get to grips with Kuldeep.
Merlyn, a computerised simulator they have often used previously, was busy ‘bowling’ again at several frontline batsman in the nets – although not at either Bairstow or Root.
Seamer Chris Jordan is less likely to come up against Kuldeep in full cry, but he said: “Merlyn is a good addition, especially when you don’t have someone to replicate bowling left-arm ‘Chinamen’.
“It is ‘over-training’, because Merlyn obviously does spin and bounce a lot more.
“But if you come out of a Merlyn session you’re in pretty good order.”
However England fare in Cardiff, there is the prospect of another opportunity to celebrate anyway before Sunday’s final match.
The national football team’s nervy progress to the World Cup quarter-finals in Russia provided consolation on Tuesday – when the cricketers cheered the success in their dressing room – and there may be similar scenes at England’s Bristol hotel if Gareth Southgate’s men can reach the last four on Saturday.
“To see the guys out there in Russia move on to the next stage, it was a great atmosphere, everyone was together,” said Jordan.
“Everyone is well into it, the whole nation is well into it – so let’s keep it going.”
“It’s coming home … it is coming home!”