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England can get even better – Billings

Eoin Morgan’s men won all six of their limited-overs meetings with Australia last month.

England can still step things up another level heading into a home World Cup next year, according to Kent captain Sam Billings.

Eoin Morgan’s men won all six of their limited-overs meetings with Australia last month, culminating in victory in a one-off Vitality IT20 at Edgbaston.

After seeing that run halted this week by defeat to India in the opening fixture of a three-match Twenty20 series, England will now look to lift themselves again to continue their white-ball progress.

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Kent captain Sam Billings (left) hopes to play himself back into contention for the England World Cup squad (Nigel French/PA)

With the 2019 World Cup looming on the horizon, Billings sees no reason to believe England cannot maintain their momentum right through to the showpiece tournament on home soil.

“Ultimately if we continue to do what we have done as a squad over the last three years, hopefully we will just keep going from strength to strength,” Billings told Press Association Sport.

“Beating Australia both home and away was really fantastic, and hopefully now being able to beat a really strong India side (in the series) on home soil will count a lot towards that.

“It is just a matter of keep doing what we have been doing and actually take it up another level. I still think there is another level we can go to as players and as a group.

“Looking forward it is really positive to see, the depth in the squad is the most pleasing thing really. The more options we have as a squad, the better we are going to be.”

Having missed out on the squad to face India, wicketkeeper-batsman Billings remains confident he can force his way back into contention for a World Cup berth.

The 27-year-old gave a reminder of his talents during last month’s Royal London One-Day Cup final at Lord’s, where he scored 75 off 60 balls in a losing cause against Hampshire.

“For me it is just a matter of playing cricket, it is great to be back at Kent and get some runs in a Lord’s final, albeit on the losing side,” said Billings,  speaking at an event for national children’s charity Chance to Shine, who are teaming up with ICC and ECB to deliver the Cricket World Cup 2019 Schools’ programme.

“It kind of reminded a few people, to put a score on the board in a big-pressure game.

“I just need to be settled getting runs for Kent, and we still have plenty to play for, which is my kind of way of ensuring I am the next best player among the pack.

“There are a lot of good players about, it is just a matter of getting scores on the board and keep pressing my claim.”

– All schools that sign up to the FREE Cricket World Cup 2019 Schools’ programme will be entered into a competition to win a school visit by England cricketer James Taylor with the World Cup trophy and match tickets. Sign up now at bit.ly/CTSteachers

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