Billings hopes match-winning knock impressed selectors


Sam Billings hopes his match-winning cameo in England's first warm-up game ahead of their one-day international series against India can help him secure a starting place.

The 25-year-old struck eight fours on his way to 93 from 85 balls against India A on Tuesday, enough to help England secure a three-wicket win in Mumbai.

A century from Ambati Rayudu and significant contributions from Shikhar Dhawan (63), MS Dhoni (68 not out) and Yuvraj Singh (56) helped the hosts to post 304-5 from their 50 overs, with Jake Ball (2-61) and David Willey (2-55) among the wickets.

After a steady start England had a mini-collapse from 95-0 to 112-3 but Billings and Jos Buttler (46) steered them back on course before Chris Woakes (11no) and Adil Rashid (6no) saw them home with seven balls to spare.

Top-scorer Billings knows his place will come under threat when Joe Root and Ben Stokes arrive for the opening ODI, but hopes his latest display - coupled with his Big Bash League performances - will have impressed the selectors.

"It's a great thing for English cricket, Joe Root coming back into the side, Ben Stokes coming back into the side - two of the best in the world," Billings, who scored 127 runs in four BBL matches for the Sydney Sixers, told the ECB website.

"We have a really strong side from one to 11. We have Liam Plunkett and Jonny Bairstow sitting out.

"You can't afford to be disappointed or feel sorry for yourself [if not selected] - it's professional sport.

"I'm going to work as hard as I can on all aspects of my game. 

"I'm just trying to offer as many options as I can, whether it's with the gloves, with the bat, opening the batting or at six or seven and finishing off an innings."

England face India A again on Thursday before the first ODI in Pune on Sunday.