England vs India 2018: David Willey questions Bhuvneshwar-Kuldeep's ploy, KL Rahul backs them
England's fast bowling all-rounder David Willey thinks that Bhuvenshwar Kumar and Kuldeep Yadav's ploy of using false run-ups during the first T20I between the two teams was not in the spirit of cricket. While the Chinaman used the tactic against Jos Buttler on a couple of occasions, Bhuvneshwar used it against Willey on the last delivery of the innings.
When quizzed about why he thinks the ploy was used by the Indian fast bowler, as reported by Cricinfo, Willey said, "I'm guessing, but I think he [Bhuvneshwar] was looking to see what I was going to do.
"They did that a few times. The spinners did it a couple of times. 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. It's not my job to comment on that too much on what they should or shouldn't be doing. Personally, I don't think I'd do that. I don't think it is great."
After questioning the Indian bowlers' tactics, Willey went on to add that the confrontation between him and Bhuvneshwar, after the latter had pulled off his delivery stride, was nothing but part and parcel of the game.
"It was something of nothing. I think with all the microphones and cameras people get a bit giddy about this sort of thing," he said. "I don't think they got under our skin particularly. They have a few fiery characters and that is part and parcel of cricket. It has gone on for years, mostly unnoticed because of the lack of cameras and microphones. There is more attention drawn to it now. There is far less of it now.
"I don't mind a bit of confrontation. I have had my fair share of it in the past. If it comes my way I am quite happy to get involved. We are advised to play cricket and leave those antics to other people."
It will frustrate me as a batsman: KL Rahul
KL Rahul, on the other hand, defended his teammates' ploy, stressing on the fact that as the sport is now heavily favoured in the batsmen's favour, it is but natural that the bowlers would try such a tactic. Though he did admit that the false run-up would have frustrated him as a batsman as well.
In Kuldeep's case, Hales, as Rahul said, was 'taking few strides too many' at the non-striker's end and thus the spinner's actions were justified.
"It will frustrate me as a batsman, it did I guess frustrate the English batsmen but the margin for error for bowlers in T20 cricket is very little so whatever tactics they can come up with and whatever they try to do to upset the batsmen is only fair," he said.
"And he [Kuldeep] didn't do anything which... you know you can do it as a bowler, you can run a batsman out, he [Hales] was taking few strides too many and it is a long boundary and if he gets that much start he can keep rotating the strike and keep getting two runs which will frustrate the bowler in return, so its only fair."