England all-rounder Sam Billings, who is having a good time in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017, has said that he hopes to continue his dominating performance in the tournament so far, as it would allow him to perform for England as well. Billings, who is playing for Delhi Daredevils (DD) in his second year in the tournament, has said that the intensity of the tournament is high in 2017, while he feels to be an important part of the Delhi team. He also said that playing in front of a capacity crowd of over 80,000 in the historic Eden Gardens against former 2-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), in Match 32 of the IPL 2017 on Friday, he said it allows him to prepare mentally to perform at the highest level. Full Cricket Scorecard, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Delhi Daredevils (DD), IPL 2017, Match 32 at Eden Gardens
“”This is my second year in the IPL, but it feels even more intense than last year. I was here last year as a squad player, but this year I feel like a senior member of the team for the Delhi Daredevils, even though I’m only 25. I’ve enjoyed taking on the extra responsibility, it’s been great to bat at the top of the order and to get this experience in such a quality tournament and such different conditions,” he wrote in his column for ecb.co uk. IPL 2017: Rahul Dravid is easy to chat to, says Sam Billings
“It has not been the easiest tournament so far for the Daredevils but I think you are seeing again this year that the quality of the IPL is as close as you can get to international cricket. Playing against 80,000 people at Eden Gardens certainly helps with the mental aspect of performing at the highest level, when the pressure is on,” he added. Sam Billings aims to create selection headaches for England
Speaking on his own form, Billings stated, “As for my own form, I feel like I’m hitting the ball really well and I like I’m in good nick. I would like to have built more on a couple of starts but I think showed with my half century against Kings XI Punjab that I am ready to do a job for the team at the top of the order. I want to play on the biggest stage and perform to my best at that level. It’s a whirlwind to play in the IPL, but it’s an amazing experience and hopefully it will make me a better player for England.”
Billings is also happy with the growing amount of English players in the IPL and feels that England is raising the standards high regarding its game. “It’s great to play against my mates from the England team. I’ve now crossed paths with all of them except Jason Roy and the fact that there are so many of us out here shows the standing in which English cricket is currently held. I am playing with several internationals and everyone says that the England players are exceptional. You can tell that other teams fear the prospect of coming up against England at the moment, which bodes well for us,” he wrote.
Billings also wrote on his interactions with his English teammates, who play for other teams in the IPL. “I speak to Jos Buttler a lot and we had a few beers and a catch up after our game against Mumbai Indians the other night.I also had a chance to see Ben Stokes and we played a round of golf together which was good fun. It was the most expensive player in the IPL against the cheapest — but somehow I still ended up buying him lunch!,” he concluded.