Liam Livingstone is proud of his willingness to adapt after the all-rounder inspired England to a Twenty20 Series victory over Sri Lanka in an unknown role.
England fell to 36 for four in pursuit of 112 – later reduced to 103 from 18 due to a brief delay in rain – but Livingstone and Sam Billings eased the nerves with a significant stand of 54 points from 48 bullets.
As Billings fell for 24 with 13 still required on an awkward surface, Livingstone’s unbeaten 29, which culminated in a daring ramp on the long leg, helped England to victory with five wickets and 11 balls to resell.
He sometimes went into the middle order in the T20s, but is more used to opening the baton, having done so with Lancashire and a number of national franchises around the world.
But after helping England take an unassailable 2-0 lead, Livingstone, who replaces Ben Stokes unavailable in that three-game streak, insisted he was happy to hit where needed, as well than participating with its unusual mix. off-spin and leg breaks if necessary, after knocking down two balls in both games to date.
“It’s something I’m proud of, to be as versatile as possible,” he said. “It’s something that’s also built into my bowling, bowl off-spin and leg-spin just to try and give people different options.
“It’s something I’ve worked really hard on, for this opportunity to try and make my way into a team as someone who can offer something in all facets of the game.
“It’s the same with my stick, I’m trying to become a player who can hit from one to eight. It’s not something I’ve done a lot, but whenever I have a chance it’s nice to be able to contribute to a win.
“It was good to put that partnership in place and obviously being number six on this team, your job in the pursuits is to be there at the end. It is always very pleasant. I’m still learning and it’s good to take us across the line.
“I think the rain helped the pitch a lot. I don’t think it was easy at the start and I think the rain made the ball skid a little more.
“The partnership with Sam, we just tried to hit the defensive players and run as hard as we could, to try to knock the tracks down that way, knowing that we would get a weird limit along the way. It’s nice to be there at the end and see us at home.
A stellar team effort on the pitch limited Sri Lanka to 111 for seven – the lowest England ever conceded when they played all-out – with Mark Wood taking two wickets in two balls and Adil Rashid also collecting some scalps.
But as an England First Order minus Jos Buttler due to calf strain failed, Livingstone and Billings – who entered Buttler’s side – seized their opportunity in a low-scoring encounter .
The pair have been on the outskirts of the limited setup for some time and although they are pushing for a place in the squad for England’s T20 World Cup campaign, which is due to start in October, Livingstone knows the depth of the batting resources of this country. possesses.
And he believes the talent pool is only growing as a result of the white ball teams metamorphosis under Eoin Morgan in recent years.
He added: “White ball cricket in England right now, I’ve played quite a bit of county cricket over the past two weeks and there is a lot of talent and a lot of good players in the country.
“It comes from young boys who have watched this team for the last four or five years.
“I guess we now see the youngsters coming in who have watched, learned and grown by watching this team. We have a lot of talent and that’s a big problem to have.