Yorkshire’s David Willey admits he is struggling to make seamless transitions

David Willey: Admits inconsistency in selection has unsettled his game.
David Willey: Admits inconsistency in selection has unsettled his game.
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All-rounder David Willey has admitted the transition between England commitments and a bit-part role at Yorkshire has unsettled his bowling rhythm.

Willey, who is in England’s squad for the Champions Trophy, was Yorkshire’s marquee signing at the start of the 2016 season, having risen to prominence with both bat and ball at Northamptonshire.

I don’t feel I’ve played that much for Yorkshire, which is a shame. Hopefully, in the next few years I’ll be able to play more and contribute with both the bat and the ball.

David Willey

However, the left-armer only made four first-class appearances during his first campaign as Yorkshire narrowly missed out on a historic treble.

Appearances have largely come in white-ball cricket where Willey struck up a strong partnership at the top of the order alongside Adam Lyth in the Natwest T20 Blast last year.

Injury and international duty have restricted Willey to four List A games and two first-class matches for Yorkshire this summer and he has taken just five wickets.

Asked whether the inconsistency in selection has unsettled his game, Willey said: “A little bit.

“You’re dropping in and out of formats and having a slightly different role in each. It’s something I’m adapting to but I am absolutely loving being part of Yorkshire and playing for them.”

Willey has found himself behind Jack Brooks, Ryan Sidebottom, Tim Bresnan, Steven Patterson and emerging talent Ben Coad in the seam bowling pecking order at Yorkshire.

The England international made 58 first-class appearances in six years at Northants and took 148 wickets. He has just 13 scalps in six County Championship appearances at the White Rose.

“It’s been a funny one,” admitted Willey. “Especially coming from Northants where I was just playing for Northampton. I had a fairly important role there and I knew what I was doing game in, game out whereas at Yorkshire, knowing I’m not guaranteed a spot in the side and dropping in and out with England, it’s hard to get a bit of rhythm.

“I don’t feel I’ve played that much for Yorkshire, which is a shame. Hopefully, in the next few years I’ll be able to play more and contribute with both the bat and the ball.”

The left-arm pace bowler missed England’s three-match tour of the West Indies in March with a shoulder injury but returned to the squad for the games against South Africa last month.

Prior to the tournament, Willey described his performance with the ball this season as “not the best”.

Willey was left out of England’s opening Champions Trophy win against Bangladesh on Thursday but could have a role to play against New Zealand on Tuesday following the injury to opening bowler Chris Woakes.

England are favourites to lift the Trophy and made a statement of intent as they comfortably beat Bangladesh – with Willey’s Yorkshire team-mates Joe Root and Liam Plunkett starring with bat and ball, respectively.

On whether this limited overs England team was the best he had seen, Willey added: “It must be up there. The style of cricket we are playing and the way we are going about it is exciting. To be made favourites for this competition just goes to show that. It’s definitely one of the better England squads that we’ve had.”