Occasional England gloveman Sam Billings has replaced his namesake and the likely departing Sam Northeast as captain of Kent, then gone and earned himself an IPL contract meaning that he’ll miss the first five County Championship matches of the 2018 season!
So who will captain Kent after all and should they win their first five games, will Billings actually walk straight in as skipper off the back of some T20 games in a foreign land and with little captaincy experience to his name?
I guess that the argument will be that Billings’ selection in the role is a long term one but he’s likely to spend some time bench warming for the national side in limited overs cricket too, so will probably miss some more cricket. Would it not be better to have a captain who will likely be available to perform the role throughout the entirety of the season?
This episode also brings to attention Billings’ role in the England squad as well as one or two others, David Willey for example. Is Billings able to do himself justice and prove himself by filling in for the odd game? Is rotation worth it or would England be better served just picking the strongest team and not resting players. Hopefully Billings can have a run in the T20I side in the upcoming triangular series against Australia and New Zealand. It’s an opportunity for teams to actually play a few T20I matches in succession rather than odd games splattered about the year.
Regardless of who captains Kent, the seemingly inevitable loss of Northeast will be a huge blow. It will surely be time for Daniel Bell-Drummond to step to the fore, for Joe Denly to continue his renaissance and for Sam Billings, whenever he plays, to deliver.