ENG vs AUS: I may have to make way for Stokes - Sam Billings

Billings says he may not be able to secure his place in the England team once Ben Stokes returns to the side.

Sam Billings raises his bat to celebrate his century during the first ODI in Manchester.   -  AP

England batsman Sam Billings has admitted he is unlikely to keep his place in the One-Day International team once all-rounder Ben Stokes returns to returns to the side, despite having scored a bucketful of runs against Ireland and Australia. Stokes is currently in New Zealand with his family.

The 29-year-old batsman from Kent scored his maiden ODI century in the first match against Australia on Friday. Last month, he scored his then ODI best of 67 not out against Ireland after coming into the team due to an injury to Joe Denly.

“It is probably one of the hardest teams to get into in world sport at the moment,” Billings was quoted as saying told Sky Sports.

“Ben Stokes isn’t here and I don’t think, however many runs I get, that I’ll keep that spot,” said the 29-year-old who has played in 19 ODIs and 30 T20Is since 2015.

'Never know when opportunities arise'

Billings, though, is ready to grab any chance that comes his way in the future. “As long as you are putting yourself in the position to be the next cab off the rank, you never know when these opportunities will arise. That’s all I can do and, especially building towards the T20 stuff, there is a slot in that late middle-order, so hopefully it keeps pushing my case in that format as well.”

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An injury denied him the chance to be a part of England’s World Cup squad last summer, but Billings knows from personal experience that his opportunity could come at any time and is determined to be ready when it does. “There are three more World Cups coming up and the lads are very keen to add to the one last year and I really want to be a part of it. It’s a huge incentive for the guys coming in to really put your marker down and your stamp down to be in the World Cup squad next year.”