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With Ben Stokes around, don’t think I will cement number five spot: Sam Billings


England batsman Sam Billings

Manchester [UK], September 12 (ANI): England batsman Sam Billings has admitted that he would not be able to cement his place as number five batsman as the side already has Ben Stokes for that role.
His remark comes ahead of the second ODI against Australia. In the first match, the right-handed batsman Billings was able to play a knock of 118 runs, but England fell short by 19 runs in the first match.
England is without the services of Ben Stokes for the ongoing ODI series against Australia as the all-rounder is in New Zealand with his family.
“Ben Stokes isn’t here and I don’t think, however many runs I get, that I’ll keep that spot. All I can do is stake a claim. Especially building towards the T20 stuff. There is a slot in that late-to-middle order. Hopefully, this will keep pushing my case in that format. Loss of form and injury – as I found out the hard way – can happen. As long as you are putting yourself in the right position to be the next cab off the rank, you never know when these opportunities will arise,” ESPNCricinfo quoted Billings as saying.
England was chasing 295 in the first ODI against Australia and the hosts were in a spot of bother at 57/4 when Billings and Jonny Bairstow got together at the crease.
The duo formed a partnership of 113 runs, and Billings got going tough during the course as he was slow to get off the blocks.
“Australia reminded me I was 11 of 32 pretty consistently. At that point in time, we had zero chance. I felt terrible as well. I wasn’t fluent at all. But then you look at the other end and Jonny is struggling as well and he’s one of the most fluent openers in world cricket. No one really got going,” Billings said.
“But you could see Australia’s mindset definitely change when we started to get that partnership going. The energy all of a sudden went from very positive to just slightly more intensity and thinking that we are getting ourselves back into the game. Who knows, if Jonny and I had batted for another five overs; if Moeen Ali and I could have got a bit of a partnership together… Yes, it was a huge ask. But in that situation it’s a matter of trying to take the game deep and give us some sort of chance,” he added.
Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Adam Zampa, and Josh Hazlewood came up with standout performances to hand visitors a win in the first ODI. Marsh and Maxwell had played knocks of 73 and 77 while Hazlewood returned with figures of 3-26 from his ten overs. Zampa had claimed four wickets as well.
Australia and England will lock horns in the second ODI of the three-match series on Sunday at Manchester. (ANI)

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