England wicket-keeper and batsman Sam Billings was bought by Delhi Capitals for Rs 2 crore at the mini-auction last month. The 29-year-old feels IPL will be good to prepare for the upcoming T20 World Cup. He admitted that he will get limited game time due to the "phenomenal" competition in Delhi Capitals' squad.
"You look at the squad that Delhi has, and especially the overseas options: you could go with any combination and it would be a successful one," Billings told in the 'ESPNCricinfo' interview.
"The competition for places is phenomenal: they obviously got to the final last year, so game time might be limited, but it comes back to the point of preparing for a World Cup and giving myself the best chance in these conditions to prepare for that," he added.
Delhi finished as runners-up in the previous IPL and has an ocean of choices in the overseas players department. Last year, they selected South African pacers Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis and big-hitting West Indian Shimron Hetmyer. In 2021 they have added former Australian skipper Steve Smith, England's Tom Curran, and Billings to the team.
Billings recalled the first time he saw Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant play. "With Pant, I played with him for 2 years when I was in Delhi. I turned to Rahul Dravid and asked 'who is this kid?'
"He was smacking Nathan Coulter-Nile, Chris Morris, Rabada everywhere in the open net.
"I was just thinking 'this is unbelievable!' and that year he lit up. It's been great to see him evolve as a cricketer and to be in the same team as him again would be great," Billings added.
The right-handed batsman is eager to play with India spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel, who caught 32 and 27 wickets respectively in the recent Test series against England.
"Facing those two spinners in the nets is one of the great things about the IPL and other franchise competitions. (If) you face these guys day in, day out in testing conditions, you're going to get better – it's impossible not to. That's a huge plus point. I'll be writing a few notes about a few different cricketers that I see about," he added.
This year's IPL begins with the defending champions Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai on April 9. The final is scheduled to be played on May 30 in Ahmedabad.