England batsman Sam Billings has admitted that he won’t able to be a permanently own the number five spot for the Three Lions with star all-rounder Ben Stokes in the team. Billings played a stupendous knock of 118 runs for England against Australia in the 1st ODI which the hosts lost by 19 runs in Manchester on Friday. So much so, Stokes is not participating in the series due to personal reasons.
Australia won the first match following a remarkable show from the bowlers, which gave them a head start in the World Cup Super League campaign owing to the 2023 World Cup. Glenn Maxwell (77) and Mitchell Marsh(73) helped Australia set up a score of 294, which the English failed to chase courtesy Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood’s brilliance with the ball.
Sam Billings doesn’t think he’ll keep the number 5 spot with Ben Stokes around
The 29-year-old batsman Sam Billings has said that no matter how many runs he gets, he still won’t be able to make a place with all-rounder Ben Stokes around. Stokes’ heroic performances in the 2019 World Cup won them the trophy — and he hasn’t looked back ever since and has been in the form of his life.
In the scenario, life gets harder for Billings to hope for a particular spot for England. However, he hopes to continue to deliver and looks forward to the T20 team where he has a chance to fill the vacant middle order.
“Ben Stokes isn’t here and I don’t think, however many runs I get, that I’ll keep that spot. All I can do is stake a claim. Especially building towards the T20 stuff. There is a slot in that late-to-middle order.
“Hopefully, this will keep pushing my case in that format. Loss of form and injury – as I found out the hard way – can happen. As long as you are putting yourself in the right position to be the next cab off the rank, you never know when these opportunities will arise,” ESPNCricinfo quoted Billings as saying.
Sam Billings’ 118 didn’t prove enough for England for the chase in 1st ODI against Australia
Billings had a slow start against Australia but got in the flow and went to score 118. England opener Jonny Bairstow also scored 84 but they couldn’t sail England to the target of 295 and fell short of just 19 runs. Sam Billings feels if he and Bairstow or Moeen Ali could’ve batted a little longer the result would have been altogether different.
“Australia reminded me I was 11 of 32 pretty consistently. At that point in time, we had zero chance. I felt terrible as well. I wasn’t fluent at all. But then you look at the other end and Jonny is struggling as well and he’s one of the most fluent openers in world cricket. No one really got going,” Sam Billings said.
“But you could see Australia’s mindset definitely change when we started to get that partnership going. The energy all of a sudden went from very positive to just slightly more intensity and thinking that we are getting ourselves back into the game.
“Who knows, if Jonny and I had batted for another five overs; if Moeen Ali and I could have got a bit of a partnership together… Yes, it was a huge ask. But in that situation it’s a matter of trying to take the game deep and give us some sort of chance,” Sam Billings concluded.
The ODI series being played between England and Australia is a part of the World Cup Super League campaign. Concurrently, Australia lead the series 1-0, the second match will be played later today at the Old Trafford Cricket ground in Manchester, England.