Manchester - England's Sam Billings is eager to show he is more than just a
one-day player by starring for Kent in the first official match of Australia's
tour of England later this week.
The 24-year-old rising star featured in all five matches the thrilling
recent 3-2 series one-day international series victory over New Zealand -- his
first taste of senior England cricket -- and made a valuable 41 in Saturday's
decisive clash at Chester-le-Street.
He is also set to feature in Tuesday's one-off Twenty20 international at Old
Trafford, the final match of New Zealand's tour.
But the hard-hitting batsman, yet to don the gloves for England, although he
keeps wicket for his county, is keen to prove his worth in a longer format when
Kent welcome Australia to Canterbury for a four-day match starting on Thursday.
"Hopefully that will be a really good test and a great opportunity for
me personally and for the team," Billings told reporters at Old Trafford
Prior to his Test debut, England captain Alastair Cook made a name for
himself by scoring a double century against Australia for Essex in a tour match
at Chelmsford, east of London, in 2005.
However, Billings refused to get carried away by what lay ahead.
"Edgbaston, my (England) debut, I felt as if I had been hit by a bus to
be honest. It was just an emotional roller coaster and the next thing you know
you play around a straight one and the pads are off.
"I think the longer this series has gone on it has helped put things in
perspective and I thought, it is just another game of cricket and if I do
exactly what I have done for Kent and I'll be fine.
"I'll take that same attitude into the (tour) game this week and try to
get some runs on the board."
As for his Test chances, Billings, speaking ahead of the Ashes opener in
Cardiff starting on July 8, said: "The gulf between Test and one day
cricket has probably narrowed in the last few years.
"Four-hundred in 50 overs is seen as normal so you never know (about a
"But the guys who are not in that Ashes squad have got to go back to
our counties and play like England players."
England's performances in a drawn Test series with New Zealand and the
subsequent one-dayers especially have helped lift the gloom surrounding the
side following their first round exit at the World Cup earlier this year.
"Hopefully it has generated a bit of interest around the country and
got people behind the England cricket team going into the Ashes," Billings
added. "That can only be a good thing."