Chennai: England's limited overs specialist Sam Billings wants to use his stint with Chennai Super Kings in the upcoming Indian Premier League as an opportunity to learn the finer points of the game from none other than Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
"I'm extremely excited to play in such a great side and learn a lot from all the experienced players that we have. I am very much looking forward to working with (MS) Dhoni, someone whom I have admired as a player for a long time as we play in similar roles (’keeper-bat). So looking forward to learning from him,” the 26-year-old Kent captain said in an interview to CSK's official website.
Billings currently plays as a specialist batsman for his country (Jos Buttler dons the big gloves) and has made a name for himself as a superb fielder.
About the pressure of expectation on turning out for high-profile CSK, Billings said there is pressure every time one walks to the crease but it would be exciting to be part of the franchise.
“Ultimately there’s pressure every time you walk to the crease representing anyone. It’s more exciting to be a part of this awesome franchise and play with and against the best players in the world," he said.
“That’s why we play the game, to be a part of groups like this and play on the world stage, so I just see it as a hugely exciting and fantastic opportunity to showcase what I can do," the England cricketer said.
The 11th edition of the premier competition kicks off on April 7 with CSK taking on defending champions Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium.
“Billings can make a big difference to the team as a floater as he is someone who can bat equally well at any position,” said Kashi Viswanathan, CEO, Chennai Super Kings.
CSK, meanwhile signed up former South Africa cricketer Eric Simons as bowling consultant to join the support staff that includes Stephen Fleming as coach, Michael Hussey as batting coach and Lakshmipathy Balaji as bowling coach....