YORKSHIRE’S 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 this 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 abort his action twice 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.”
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 bamboozled 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.”
Stuart Broad has confirmed he plans to return to action this month after undergoing injections on “an ongoing ligament problem” in his left ankle.
England seamer Broad suffered discomfort in Nottinghamshire’s County Championship match against Worcestershire at Trent Bridge last week.
He has since had a series of scans, but still expects to return against Surrey on July 22.