David Willey’s career at a crossroads

Willey has backed his English team-mates to overcome the lean patch and get in their groove soon.

David Willey
England’s David Willey. (Photo by OLLY GREENWOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

Gone are the days when a player used to play all the formats at the international level. Players are now being termed “specialists” who are selected only for particular form they excel in. This can have both negative and a positive impact on a player’s career.

David Willey, the English paceman finds himself on the wrong end of the red-ball cricket. While enjoying a successful stint with the Perth Scorchers in the last two seasons, Willey has been termed as a “white-ball specialist” by England coach Trevor Bayliss.

His ability to move the ball along with his subtle variations ranks him among the best in business in England. Willey is more than a handy batsman and an able fielder who can contribute to his team in all possible ways.

Injury-prone career

His career has been marred by injuries. Several hand and shoulder injuries haven’t helped his cause as he is trying to force his way to play for England in whites. Willey had hoped that the move from his native Northamptonshire to then County champions Yorkshire in the 2015 season would enhance his ambitions of Test selection. But it was not meant to be.

He was not even in the frame for an Ashes spot and saw his team lose the urn to the Australian’s in the first three matches itself. Willey admits it is unlikely he will emulate his father Peter, who played 26 Tests for England between 1976 and 1986.

“I think over the past couple of years, the way the scheduling is now it’s difficult to play enough four-day cricket to put your name in the frame for Test cricket,” Willey was quoted as saying by Cricket Australia.

“So, I’m at a real crossroads at the minute actually of whether I decide to pursue a career in Twenty20 cricket and one-day cricket and leave my dreams of Test cricket behind.” He added. The pacer has had sleepless nights over his selection in the Test squad and his chances look bleak more than ever.

Willey is regarded as one of the best death bowlers in T20 cricket. The fact that he is the only overseas player in the Scorchers line-up shows his class. He was included in the team despite the fact that he would be available only for the first six games owing to national commitment.

“I’d like to walk away and watching the guys having left them at the top of the table hopefully having made a contribution to the side,” said Willey. He may play for the Scorchers if they make it to the knockout stages of the BBL 07 as there is a gap between the ODI and the T20I series.

Comments on off-field controversies

When things do not go your way, the focus moves away from cricket and a player tends to be criticized for what he does outside the field rather than his on-field performances. Eventually, a player wants to do well for his country and win laurels. Willey has backed his English team-mates to overcome the lean patch and get in their groove soon.