C365 exclusive with Northants' David Willey
Northamptonshire all-rounder David Willey, still recovering from a back injury, took some time to chat to Cricket365 about his England hopes, impressing his dad, death bowling tactics and his love-yet-fear of Mitchell Johnson.
Northamptonshire all-rounder David Willey, still recovering from a back injury, took some time to chat to Cricket365 about his England hopes, impressing his dad (England legend Peter Willey), death bowling tactics and his love-yet-fear of Mitchell Johnson.
<b>C365: First things first. How are things in terms of your injury?</b>
DW: I'm still a few weeks away. I've not been fit to bowl so it's very frustrating not to hit the ground running, but I'm still available for selection as a batter which is a positive, given the way things are at Northants at the minute. It's not ideal, with the amount of injuries we have. (Ed: He is playing against Durham, as a batsman.)
<b>C365: Yes. Someone (@legsidelizzy) said on Twitter that somebody at Northants must have walked under a ladder…</b>
DW: Yeah, we've had a very unfortunate start to the year. There have been a few broken fingers, a ruptured Achilles, I'm still struggling with my back, and a few other niggles. But you know, it created a few opportunities for other people and hopefully this will create a competition for places later in the year, which can only be healthy.
<b>C365: You guys also haven't had great luck with overseas signings, what with Jackson Bird having to pull out and now Rory Kleinveldt injured as well.</b>
DW: It's unfortunate that both of those players are unable to join us. They would have been great additions to the side in all formats. I'm not even sure if they (management) have got anyone else up their sleeve but I think with the bowling attack we've got, we've got a strong set of seamers but we're probably a bit light on numbers. In my opinion, we could probably do with someone else. But I don't know if anyone else is available or if the coaches are looking at any other options.
<b>C365: If you had a dream pick, who would you go for? It's clear they're looking for a quick slash bowling all rounder.</b>
DW: Well, it seems like Mitchell Johnson is doing well at the minute, so he'd be a nice little addition! But you know, it's very difficult to find fast bowlers who are fit and available to come over, and we've got a limited budget so… hopefully we can dig someone out the hat somewhere.
<b>C365: In terms of your back injury, how far are you from getting back to full strength? Will you be ready for the T20 Blast? (Northants are the defending champs)</b>
DW: I'm hoping to be. I hope I'll be able to bowling in the T20s, but it'll be a tight squeeze to be in that position. Fingers crossed that once I start bowling, my bowling fitness with come back quickly, especially if I can play as a batter in the next few weeks. It'll just be a case of getting my bowling legs and fitness up. Hopefully it won't take too long, and I'll be available to take the new ball.
<b>C365: You are the poster boy for the T20s at the moment, given your performance in last year's final (60 off 27 balls, 4/9 including a hat-trick). That must have been very satisfying.</b>
DW: It was a special day for me, certainly the highlight of my career, in terms of individual performance and also for the club. But that's in the past, and I'm not even on the park now, so hopefully I can get myself fit and put in some more performances like last season.
<b>C365: Is this back injury a chronic thing for you, like Michael Clarke's, or was it a one off thing that will be fixed and stay fixed?</b>
DW: Fingers crossed, once I make some adjustments to my bowling action, I won't have a recurrence. Fingers crossed it's just a one-off thing and I won't have any problems going forward.
<b>C365: Obviously you're focusing on domestic stuff, but in which format do you reckon you're the closest to an England call-up in?</b>
DW: Probably T20, I think. It's suits my style of play, and my record in domestic cricket sort of suggests it's one of my strongest areas. But as a cricketer, I'd like to represent England in all formats and I don't want to be pigeon-holed, and I don't want to pigeon-hole myself. I'd like to contribute in all formats as an aggressive type of player. But yeah… T20 is probably my way in.
<b>C365: You must have kept track of the IPL auction, even though you had to withdraw from it due to injury. Would you have put yourself in the top bracket like the other England players did?</b>
DW: To be honest, I don't know much about it, but I know the rules have changed in terms of what people were going for. Kevin Pietersen was the only English player to get picked up, but I don't know how that reflects on the system (EBC rules) or on English cricketers. It just seemed very bizarre that some top English players didn't get picked up.
<b>C365: Yes, the Alex Hales one was a big surprise, But we gathered, from what Luke Wright said, that the players had to put themselves in the top bracket to make enough money to pay their counties back for letting them go for that time…</b>
DW: Yeah, it's very complicated and I'm not sure how the maths works. But I think it's to do with the length of time you're away from your county. There are obviously a lot of figures involved that dictates how people price themselves up. It's a difficult situation obviously as people want to play in the IPL, not only for the experience but because it's a prestigious competition. Hopefully one day I can get over there and be a part of what is a fantastic competition.
<b>C365: Have you ever considered moving away from Northants? You're born and raised there…</b>
DW: I'm a local lad, and it was always my ambition to represent Northants. There's talk in the media that you have to play for one of the 'Test match' counties or one of the more recognisable teams, but I've always said that if I'm performing and I'm good enough, I'll get picked, regardless of where I'm playing. That shows, with Moeen Ali getting some opportunities this winter despite playing in division two. It's not to say that you have to play for one of the big counties. But if that's the case further down the line, then I'll consider it. But I don't see it being a problem.
<b>C365: Did you watch the World T20?</b>
DW: Yeah, I did catch bits of that. I actually don't watch a great deal of cricket, I don't know why… I did watch bits and pieces of it, and it was a disappointing tournament for England. *takes a deep breathe* But you know, it creates opportunities for people, and hopefully I can be a part of that in future.
<b>C365: If you were one of the ECB head honchos, who would you be picking for the England head coaching job?</b>
DW: That's a good question… I haven't got a clue! I don't even know who the candidates are… It's all gone a bit quiet at the minute, actually.
<b>C365: Well, it's gone from Ashley Giles to Peter Moores as the main candidates in the media. The others on the short-list are Mick Newell, Mark Robinson, and Trevor Bayliss from New South Wales.</b>
DW: I'd imagine they've all got different styles and different
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