You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Sixers recruit gives top Billings to Ashes

AAP logoAAP 12/12/2016 Steve Zemek

When English big-hitter Sam Billings pulls on the magenta shirt for the Sydney Sixers, he will do so with a point to prove ahead of next year's Ashes tour.

Having represented his country at England ODI and Twenty20 level, the 25-year-old right-hander has ambitions to play Test cricket.

A handy wicketkeeper who is expected to share the gloves with Brad Haddin during the Big Bash League, he's spreading himself far and wide.

He sees a correlation between his stints in the Indian Premier League and Pakistan Super League and being selected on the upcoming limited overs tour of India.

"Being picked in the ODIs in India after Christmas - playing in the IPL and Pakistan has definitely helped me develop my game against a spinning ball," Billings said.

"You play against the best players in the world, adapt to every condition and that's what I'll be looking to do."

The big carrot dangling in front of Billings is next summer's Ashes tour of Australia and he wants to prove himself in our conditions.

Billings was a late call up to the Sixers squad after Johan Botha received his Australian citizenship, opening up an international spot.

He made his international debut in an ODI against New Zealand last year and has racked up six ODI and seven T20I appearances since.

While English Test keeper Jonny Bairstow is no danger of being unseated - having this year set records for most Test dismissals and runs by a gloveman in a calendar year - Billings wants a seat on the plane and sees himself as a quality batsman.

He averages 33.03 at first-class level and turned heads with a 171 for Kent in August.

He is a big hitter and polished finisher who regularly bats at six and seven for England however is keen to prove his adaptability.

He crunched 67 opening the batting in an ODI against Bangladesh in October and has stood behind the stumps at international level.

"You don't pick and choose, wherever it is, you get that call, you're on the plane," Billings said.

"That's where I am. Who knows, maybe even an Ashes trip as well. I want to play four-day cricket and five-day cricket. That's my aim, not just being pigeon-holed as a number five or six slogger."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon