Out of favour England batsman, Sam Billings has said the things which he learnt from MS Dhoni in the IPL had provided the opportunity for him to overcome from the struggles which he went through.

I have learnt a lot from Dhoni – Billings

Billings played for the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL 2018. He began with a sensational 56 off 21 deliveries against the Kolkata Knight Riders. The right-hander shared a significant partnership with Dhoni. However, he was unable to continue his prowess for the rest of the season. He managed to score 108 runs from the next ten innings at an average of 13.50.

Billings didn’t quite spend enough time in the middle. He was not included in the English T20I squad and ODI squad after below-par performances against Scotland and Australia last month.

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However, Billings insisted spending time with Dhoni will only help him improve his game. Billings is currently settling into his captaincy role with Kent.

“It was incredible batting with him in the first game, and to get us across the line as well,” Billings told ESPNcricinfo at a Chance to Shine event in Sussex. “What struck me most was his calmness. He’s just so calm the whole time.

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MS Dhoni
Mahendra Singh Dhoni. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

“I asked him about it, and he said that through experience and being able to train, he’s got better and better at it towards the latter part of his career. It was amazing to witness – he selects the bowlers that he looks to take down, then executes it as well. It’s pretty special being at the other end and in the same dressing room as someone like that.”

Experience is the Key

England failed to pick Kuldeep Yadav in the opening T20I. He added the exposure to such bowlers on a daily basis will help England cope with the pressure of picking the two wrist spinners.

“You have to adapt very quickly to two high-quality spinners, but that is the benefit of playing in the IPL,” Billings said. “You come up against quality spin every time you play the game. It’s about adapting, having a gameplan and putting the pressure back onto them.

“Chahal is a great bowler, he got me out at Bangalore this year, and Kuldeep with his variations is high class as well. The challenge is to adapt as quickly as possible, and certainly, the reverse-sweep and sweep are good options, especially if you are not picking them.”

Dhoni
MS Dhoni. Credits: Reuters

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