While the 29-year-old Sam Billings recently returned to the ODI side with an incredible match-winning fifty, he is eyeing to settle his place in the English limited-overs sides to feature in the two limited-overs World Cups in India. As he has IPL experiences, Billings feels that it will help him to achieve success in these tournaments.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has recently announced that three ICC men’s tournaments will be organised in the next three years – two ICC Men’s T20 World Cup (in 2021 and 2022) and one ICC Cricket World Cup (in 2023). Before the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, India will also host one of the two Men’s T20 World Cups.
Sam Billings, who just returned to the English ODI team after more than two years, believes that the IPL experiences will give him an extra advantage among the many other English cricketers during the forthcoming ICC World Cup tournaments in India.
Billings said according to Sky Sports, “I think that’s definitely something that I can potentially offer compared to other players. My game against spin has benefited from all the different franchises I have experienced, particularly the IPL.
“I have had relative success on turning pitches in Chennai and Delhi. I back my game against spin and I have to continue to work hard. In ODI format or longer format, the subcontinent is somewhere I think I can do well. The longer format is one I want to push my case in if I get the opportunity.”
Sam Billings played IPL for the Delhi Daredevils (DD; 2016-2017) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK; 2018-2019). After playing 22 IPL matches, the right-handed batsman has scored 334 runs (average 17.57; strike-rate 133.60), including three half-centuries.
England’s ODI side is arguably one of the toughest sports teams to get into at the moment: Sam Billings
Though Billings played eight T20Is in 2019, the first ODI against Ireland in the ongoing three-match home ODI series (at Southampton 30th July 2020) was his first ODI since June 2018. After that ODI, the 29-year-old cricketer has played 16 ODIs and 26 T20Is.
Billings claimed, “In a nutshell, my career hit a heavy speed bump last year (with the injury) so for me it’s about building that momentum back up. It’s been very up down (with England), I suppose, over the last five years. I played five ODIs against New Zealand straight after the last World Cup in 2015 and then 10 since then and July 2018.
“The opportunities have been sporadic but England’s ODI side is arguably one of the toughest sports teams to get into at the moment so all I can do is take my opportunities when they arise.”
In the latest ODI comeback, when England were struggling on 78/4 during chasing down the 173 runs target, Billings played a powerful knock of unbeaten 67 runs off 54 balls (11 fours) to secure England’s six-wicket victory. For the unbroken fourth wicket, he put the solid 96 runs partnership with the English limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan.
Billings added, “I have (done well in middle order) consistently over the last five years … so it’s a role I enjoy. It’s a very tough role. You have to be very adept. You can come in three or four down very early on and steady the ship or you can come in for the last five overs and everyone expects you to get 40 off 10 balls.”