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Kent captain Sam Billings called up to England squad for fifth Test against Australia


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Kent captain Sam Billings has been called up to England's Test squad as cover.

Billings was due to fly back to the UK on Friday having completed a successful spell with Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League before linking up with the England's T20I tour of the West Indies.

Kent's Sam Billings has been called up as cover to the England Test squad. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Kent's Sam Billings has been called up as cover to the England Test squad. Picture: Barry Goodwin

Instead, the 30-year-old wicketkeeper/batsman will join up with England's Test squad after an isolation period - subject to a negative PCR test.

It's not the first time Billings has been added to England's Test squad, he was drafted in as cover in May last year for the series against New Zealand but he is yet to make his Test debut for England despite making 25 One-Day International appearances and 33 T20 International outings.

Billings has enjoyed his spell in the BBL, where he was the fourth highest-run scorer in the competition.

He scored 284 runs in nine games at an average of 40.57 with a top score of 67.

Speaking after his final game for the Thunder when he expected to link-up with England's ODI squad, Billings said: "In any tournament you want to be here at the business end and win competitions. It's a real shame (not to stay to the end), I love playing for the Thunder.

"I haven't played too much cricket in the last year so it's been great to have a run of games and showcase what I can do.

"Hopefully I can take that form into the England stuff, obviously Jonny (Bairstow) and Jos (Buttler) aren't there so I might get a chance to keep wicket as well and get a run of five games which will be exciting."

Ironically, Bairstow (thumb) and Buttler (hand) are both struggling while all-rounder Ben Stokes picked up a side injury when bowling in the fourth Test.

Billings will now link-up with Kent team-mate Zak Crawley in the England squad.

Crawley came into the side for the third Test, making 12 and five at Melbourne. He was out for 18 at Sydney in the fourth Test on Friday.

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