Sam Billings believes his experience in franchise cricket this winter will prove invaluable ahead of England’s Twenty20 international series against South Africa.
The Kent wicketkeeper-batsman has just linked up with the England squad after his stint with Islamabad United in the inaugural Pakistan Super League.
Prior to playing with the likes of Misbah-ul-Haq, Brad Haddin, and Shane Watson in the PSL, Billings featured for England Lions during their tour of United Arab Emirates but felt his time with Islamabad will hold him in good stead for the upcoming series and World Twenty20 in India.
“Franchise cricket around the world, it was my first taste of it and it was a cracking experience,” Billings told ecb.co.uk
“It was a completely different environment, a lot of Pakistani international cricketers playing in the side, so just to pick the brains of international players from different countries was fantastic.
— Sam Billings (@sambillings) February 15, 2016
“There’s no better player than Brad Haddin to pick the brains of as a number-seven Test batsman and then up the order in Twenty20, obviously as a keeper was invaluable.
“I think any environment where you play against top-class cricketers is going to improve you as a cricketer as long as you have the right attitude and work ethic, I think it’s impossible not to improve.
“Hopefully I’ve brought some runs over here with me and just looking forward to getting involved into this stuff now.”
Billings, however, has no specific preferences to his batting position, and is solely focusing on helping England become the first team to win two World T20 titles.
“I’d happily be third man and not bat as long as we are winning,” Billings added.
“It’s just one of those, if you get an opportunity, hopefully I can take it, like that first knock in Dubai which was really pleasing on a personal level but also to win was obviously the aim.”
Following the World T20 in March, Billings will also represent Indian Premier League franchise Delhi Daredevils where he will play alongside Proteas wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock after the 24-year-old was picked up in the second phase of bidding.
But the Kent man is looking forward to playing under Delhi head coach Rahul Dravid after spending time with the India great at his county.
“Training with Rahul, who was at Kent for a bit, to pick his brain about playing against world-class spin, going after it, defensive technique, is obviously the way to improve,” Billings said.
“Traditionally, us English lads have struggled against spin so if you can play spin well and the seam bowling then that’s what you have to be working towards as a batter so I’m really looking forward to it.”
— Sam Billings (@sambillings) February 16, 2016