Billings backs ‘inspirational’ Root for Ashes glory

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England limited overs talent Sam Billings has confidence that Joe Root can lead England to glory in what he feels will be a close Ashes Test series.

Billings backed the England skipper to end the Ashes as man of the series on the weight of runs he anticipates Root will score.

Speaking at the opening of the first International cricket stadium in Kigali, Rwanda Billings said: “As captain, he’ll be inspirational in that job. I’m backing him, for sure.

“I think it is going to be a great contest.

“I think both teams are very close and (are) two high-quality sides so I think it will be a very close series, actually.

“It will be small moments that will have a big impact on the series result.”

Billings confessed his desire to play for England in the longest format of the game admitting though that a lack of red ball cricket makes it harder for him to make his case.

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He added: “I was close to being considered, I just hadn’t played enough four-day cricket really towards the end of the season which was a real shame.

“Opportunities have come in the T20 world but who knows, hopefully Test cricket comes knocking as well”

Another fan of Joe Root was in Kigali, in the form of former Proteas opener Herschelle Gibbs who will be rooting for England in the upcoming Ashes.

Gibbs said: “I like England, I’m a big fan of Stokes and Joe Root.

“(Stokes not being there) could be a bit of an issue because he’s a fantastic player but I’m a big Joe Root fan and for South Africa, Australia has always been the big foe.

“I wouldn’t mind if they went down again so I’d definitely have to back England on it.”