Liam Livingstone said after scoring the fastest T20I century by an England cricketer that he will have to curb his “reckless” trait and be more “consistent” if he wants to make a permanent place in the country’s white-ball side.
Livingstone smashed nine sixes and six fours in a 43-ball 103 in the opening T20I against Pakistan at Nottingham on Friday night but the visitors’ bowlers held their nerve to eke out a hard-fought 31-run victory to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
“Throughout my career I’ve been someone who has been a little bit more reckless. I’ve obviously got an ability to strike the ball but the thing I need to get better at is consistency. It’s a technical thing, but mentally it helps to be able to stay calm when you’re under pressure in a situation like I was tonight and swing a little bit less hard, knowing that you’re in a better position to swing through the ball,” the 27-year-old Livingstone told ESPNcricinfo.com on Saturday.
The cricketer said that the 10 days of self-isolation after seven COVID-19 cases were detected in the England squad ahead of the ODI series against Pakistan, gave him a chance to “reset” for the T20I series.
The cricketer, who was one of 16 players who self-isolated following the third ODI against Sri Lanka at Bristol, said that it felt “really good” to pick up the bat after 10 days.
“It was almost quite nice to chill out for 10 days and forget about cricket — just have a little bit of time away. I found a little thing with (former England players) Colly (Paul Collingwood) and Tres (Marcus Trescothick) at Bristol. Something just clicked. I didn’t pick up a bat for 10 days and then came in yesterday (against Pakistan) and felt really good.”
While Trescothick is England’s batting coach, Collingwood is substituting for head coach Chris Silverwood, who is on leave for this series.
“We were really just trying to get the consistency of his striking a lot better,” said Collingwood. “We all know how far he can hit a ball and how powerful he is but having a direction and real kind of precision in his training (helps him) to understand exactly where he’s hitting the ball and the trajectory of the ball coming off the bat,” said the former England player about the areas he has worked upon to improve Livingstone’s batting.
“In the past he’s always been a little bit frustrated that his back hip collapses, which can then make him hit the ball a lot higher than he was hoping for, (so we were) just doing a little bit of work on how far that front foot goes out and getting the base a little bit better,” explained Collingwood.