Billings: England have 'huge opportunity' to win fifth Ashes Test

Last Updated: 15/01/22 1:25pm Wicketkeeper Sam Billings believes England have a "huge opportunity" to win the fifth and final Ashes Test and claim a first victory in Australia since 2011 despite a fam

Billings: England have 'huge opportunity' to win fifth Ashes Test

Sam Billings relishing Test debut after becoming England's 700th cricketer in the longest format; Kent captain scored 29 in his first innings before taking two catches late on day two in Hobart as Australia closed on 37-3 with a lead of 152; England tumbled to 188 all out in Tasmania

Last Updated: 15/01/22 1:25pm

Sam Billings 'absolutely loved' batting against Australia's high-quality bowling attack in Hobart Sam Billings 'absolutely loved' batting against Australia's high-quality bowling attack in Hobart
Sam Billings 'absolutely loved' batting against Australia's high-quality bowling attack in Hobart

Wicketkeeper Sam Billings believes England have a "huge opportunity" to win the fifth and final Ashes Test and claim a first victory in Australia since 2011 despite a familiar batting collapse.

England were rolled for 188 in 47.4 overs on day two of the pink-ball fixture in Hobart - Chris Woakes top-scoring with 36 and Billings chipping in with 29 on Test debut - as they failed to pass 200 for the fifth time in nine innings in a series Australia currently lead 3-0.

That left the tourists trailing by 115 runs after both sides had batted once and Australia swelled their lead to 152 at stumps, although they did lose David Warner for nought - the opener bagging a pair - Marnus Labuschagne for five and Usman Khawaja for 11.

Speaking to BT Sport, Billings said: "I think all results are still possible, absolutely. We have to cut out those bad sessions and take it to a manageable total for us as a batting unit.

England's Ashes batting woes

England’s first innings was the fifth time in the series they have failed to reach 200 in an innings. They have failed to reach 300 in any.

"There is a huge opportunity to get a result out of this game. The first session [on day three] is going to be huge and set the tone for the rest of the match. You have to look at those big moments and really grasp them.

"[This evening] was the template of how we have to bowl. The intensity and consistency was there and we made it really difficult for Australia."

Billings was on his way home after completing a Big Bash League stint with Sydney Thunder - only to then be called up by England after injuries to Jos Buttler (finger) and Jonny Bairstow (thumb).

The Kent captain, 30 subsequently replaced Buttler behind the stumps at Blundstone Arena as he became England's 700th Test cricketer.

The right-hander looked composed with the bat before he was out to Cameron Green and then claimed two catches late on the second day to account for Labuschagne and Khawaja.

Billings is making his Test debut in place of the injured Jos Buttler Billings is making his Test debut in place of the injured Jos Buttler
Billings is making his Test debut in place of the injured Jos Buttler

Billings added: "I really enjoyed walking out to bat. I absolutely loved it. It is a challenge that a week ago I didn't expect to be having. I expected to be in the cold back at home!

"You have grown up [wanting to face] the best seam attack in the world, probably, and I saw it is a great opportunity. I just tried to be positive in everything I did."

Billings' energy behind the stumps has been notable in this Test, something he believes is crucial for a wicketkeeper as they try to make batters feel uncomfortable.

He added: "I see the wicketkeeping role as [being vocal] but I don't do it for myself, I do it for the team. It is so individual but for me, especially as captain at Kent as well, I like to lead by example and from the front.

"I like to create an intensity. As a batsman, you don't like it when people are swarmed around and it feels like one versus 11 out in the middle.

"That's how I think we should be playing our cricket, making it hard for the batsmen. People are probably fed up listening to me but I feel like it has an effect."