Billings attributes ‘huge improvement’ to Dravid’s tips

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Delhi Daredevils may be far from frontrunners in the IPL, but one thing that they have done rather well under the tutelage of former India batsman Rahul Dravid is promoting youngsters.

With a batting line-up that cries out for some experience, many have questioned why JP Duminy – the mainstay of the team’s middle-order in the last few seasons – was replaced by Ben Hilfenhaus, who would add to an endless list of fast bowling options.

However, there is a bright side to the coin as well.

England wicketkeeper-batsman Sam Billings, who will now undoubtedly get a prolonged go at the top of the order, said that working with Rahul Dravid has made him a much better player of spin bowling.

Billings, who was bought by Delhi Daredevils last year, said that the amount he has improved this year is unfathomable and attributed this success to some useful tips from one of India’s finest players of spin.

“There is no doubt that in the last one year, the improvement (I have felt in my game) has been the biggest of my career. Getting to know your game in different conditions is always a learning experience.

“Playing quality spin for six weeks (in the IPL), you learn a lot out of that. Anyway you are always looking to try to improve and perform. Of course, the schedule is hectic,” said Billings, referring to national duty and time he spends playing leagues across the globe.

“He (Dravid) is one of the best to have played the game. So there is lots to learn from him and even from Paddy. It is always a great experience to pick their brains. It is a huge honour actually. You are always learning from people of that stature,” he said.

Talking about the team composition, he said Daredevils have a well-balanced squad and it was disappointing to lose the tournament opener against Royal Challengers Bangalore, especially in the fashion that they did.

“Very disappointed with the result. It’s a real shame to not get over the line. We are focused on the next game now. There are lots of positives to take from the previous game.

“Every team is strong in this competition, all have power hitters and quality spinners. But if we turn up to play to our potential, we can beat any team.”

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