England’s one-day revival can stoke Ashes bid, insists Billings

Ross McLean
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Sam Billings made his ODI debut against New Zealand at Edgbaston
ENGLAND newcomer Sam Billings believes the transformation of his side’s one-day fortunes can galvanise the Test team’s bid to beat Australia and regain the Ashes.

Billings made his one-day international debut and played all five matches as England showcased an exhilarating and aggressive brand of cricket to overpower New Zealand 3-2 in a thrilling series which climaxed at Chester-le-Street on Saturday. Focus now turns to Old Trafford today and a tour-concluding T20 international clash with New Zealand, before a two-week interlude precedes the start of the Ashes at Cardiff on 8 July.

While there will be a turnover in personnel as white-ball cricket gives way to red, the 24-year-old insists the renewed faith in England’s one-day capabilities can have a positive effect on the rest of the summer.

“Hopefully the vibe around this team can be taken forward into the Ashes and the one-day series against Australia,” said Billings.

“It’s been a great advert for one-day cricket and a fantastic result. Hopefully it’s generated a bit of interest around the country and got people behind the England cricket team going into the Ashes. That momentum is with us and that has to be a good thing.”

Today’s showdown will only be England’s third fixture in the shortest format of he game since their dismal group-stage exit at the World T20 in 2014, a tournament capped by a 45-run dead-rubber defeat to the Netherlands.

It is also one of just four further scheduled matches before the next World T20 in April and Billings is intent on ensuring England’s new-found confidence in limited-overs circles is not short-lived.

“It is a great start but it is only a start,” added Billings. “We want to take this team further forward.”

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