The Delhi Daredevils are in town, and Sam Billings the Kent-born right hander is quite pleased to be in the squad. He played his first IPL match against Kolkata Knight Riders and scored a half-century.
“Growing up I have heard and seen it all. The IPL is the leading global franchise event. Just to play the IPL is fantastic. There is a massive following in England for the IPL. We are massively encouraged to play the IPL. Abdul Rashid and David Willey go for the Big Bash (in Australia). For me, it’s great to work with Rahul Dravid, one of the great players to have played the game. It’s all reflected in England’s progress in the last 16 months reaching the World Twenty20 final.”
The 24-year-old right hander feels all the training drills with the squad and matches would help him improve his game against spin. “In England, Australia and South Africa where the ball doesn’t spin and turn a great deal, you can get away with poor footwork against spinners; your hands can do most of the work. Here the footwork has to be spot on; otherwise you will be back in the change room pretty quickly. An example was shown the other day by Karun Nair, his footwork was unbelievable. It’s not only learning from Rahul, but watching these young Indians from the other end. I enjoy the challenge of playing spin. It’s an art, it’s like playing seam in England.”
Talking about Tuesday’s match against the Gujarat Lions he said: “We are in a good patch, but we have to keep the momentum going. People are putting in performances every game. If we continue the way we are going, we have a good chance.”