England batsman Sam Billings is looking to cement his place in middl-order after playing a match-winning knock of 67 runs of Thursday against Ireland in Southampton in the first ODI of the three-match series.
However, Billings admitted that given the current strength of the England national team it would be a tough task for him to make his own mark. But the 29-year-old is “looking forward” to the challenge.
“The middle-order role is a very tough one. You’ve got to be very adept, come in when you’re three or four down early on and steady the ship similar to [Thursday] or in the last five overs and everyone expects you to get 40 off 10 balls,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Billings as saying.
“It’s a pretty tough role, but one that I’m looking forward to making my own, really. Morgs [Eoin Morgan] has chucked the challenge out for all of us batsmen. There are a ridiculous number of white-ball batsmen in the one-day set-up at the moment, and I just want to focus, keep working hard, and keep doing what I’m doing,” he added.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, batting first, Ireland failed to put on a decent effort as England bundled them for a paltry total of 172 in the match that launched the new World Cup Super League to determine qualification for the ICC World Cup in 2023.
England side, which did not feature anyone from the Test squad that played against the West Indies due to their team-for-each-format policy, had initially floundered while chasing. They were down to 78/4 before Sam Billings (67 off 54 deliveries) and skipper Eoin Morgan (36 off 40) shared an unbeaten partnership of 96 runs to take the hosts home.