Delhi Daredevils Sam Billings always speaks to Rahul Dravid about the game and helped him to deal better with the vagaries of international cricket.
England Billings is part of the Delhi Daredevils squad and also two seasons with Dravid as a chief coach. Selection in England’s Champions Trophy squad is a testimony to that.
The England limited-overs international Billings said “I think it’s more about the mental side of the game. It is not necessarily a technique thing. To play international cricket, in any case, you need a solid enough technique to get to that point.”
“It’s about the mindset. He speaks about having that patience so that you can catch up towards the end, just chatting to him about cricket.”
Billings added, “What a great bloke he (Dravid) is. Easy to chat to. He chats about the mental side of the game, dealing with pressure on and off the field. He talks about different options, calculating which bowlers you can take down, simple things. People think it’s always gold dust, but sometimes it’s about just chatting, every now and then.”
Billings said about positive batting drills against spinners that Dravid helped him. “Rather than batting on a decent track. Dravid just moves the stumps back so that the ball is pitching on the rough more.”
“It’s turning a bit more. He is always trying to push your game to the next level. He is indeed a great man to have.”
Talking about England’s Champions Trophy squad, Billings is no doubt that he can be an important part of the country’s “white ball cricket.”
“No doubt that I am capable of being a part of white-ball cricket in England, I am getting closer and closer. Hopefully, I will get a white ball contract, that’s the aim but firm aspirations are on playing Test cricket.”
Billings said about good experience playing in the franchise league, “The Big Bash League was fantastic. It was a completely different type of cricket. Quick, bouncy pitches with bowlers trying to bowl back of a length.”
“You can’t just do that In India, where the ball stops at times. This makes you a more rounded player, learn to adapt to different situations.”
He added, “I think IPL is fantastic. England came up with the idea of Twenty20 and IPL took it to a different level. I feel blessed that we get paid to travel and experience different cultures and gather an experience of a lifetime.”