Liam Livingstone promises England will ‘double down’ on attacking intent against Bangladesh at Cricket World Cup on Tuesday… as he believes the pitch suits his side
- Liam Livingstone promised England will ‘double down’ on attacking instincts
- He also believes that the pitch that his side are playing on suit them
- Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off!’
Liam Livingstone has promised England will ‘double down’ on their attacking instincts as they prepare for Tuesday’s World Cup clash with Bangladesh – a game that has taken on unexpectedly important proportions after their opening-night mauling by New Zealand.
Livingstone was one several England players to throw away a decent start against the New Zealanders, caught in the deep off Trent Boult for 20 as Jos Buttler’s team faded to a below-par 282 for nine in Ahmedabad.
But the change of scene to the Himalayan town of Dharamshala, where Livingstone thrashed nine sixes in a 48-ball 94 for Punjab Kings against Delhi Capitals in the IPL in May, has encouraged England to believe that their high-octane approach can pay off against a team they beat during a warm-up game on Monday.
With the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association stadium sitting nearly 5,000ft above sea level, batsmen tend to get good value for their aerial strokes. The pitch, meanwhile, has traditionally offered pace and bounce, which ought to suit England rather better than Bangladesh.
‘One game doesn’t define a tournament,’ said Livingstone. ‘The one thing this group does well when we’ve lost a game is double down on our aggressive approach. We’ve got a chance to do that on Tuesday.
Liam Livingstone has promised England will ‘double down’ on their attacking instincts as they prepare for Tuesday’s World Cup clash with Bangladesh
Livingstone was one several England players to throw away a decent start against the New Zealanders
‘One game doesn’t define a tournament,’ said Livingstone ahead of the clash
‘Because of the altitude, the ball just flies really well. You can feel it: it makes you more confident to take on the boundaries. They aren’t that big here anyway and the altitude just makes it better with the power we’ve got in our line-up.
‘It’s the kind of place you can really set up the back end of the innings and score highly. Me, Sammy [Curran] and Jos [Buttler] have all played here, which may help us. I’ve got good memories here and hopefully I can repeat it.
‘It’s a good pitch, with good pace and carry and it can nip around. It’s probably as English a pitch as there is out here. It will probably suit us more than many grounds around the country and hopefully that can play in our favour.
‘We want to get over what happened the other day and almost go twice as hard. We want to put on a really good show and get things kickstarted in this tournament.’
Conditions, though, may not accommodate England’s skillset to the extent they might like. Dharamshala yesterday hosted its first match of the World Cup, and produced a slow pitch on which Bangladesh dismissed Afghanistan for 156 before completing a straightforward six-wicket win.
England also noted an unusually sandy outfield, making the run-ups for the quicks less than smooth. As recently as last month, reports claimed the outfield had been hit by a fungal infestation, though these were played down by the HPCA. Either way, in the land of the Dalai Lama, Buttler’s team may not be greeted by cricketing nirvana.
Livingstone opened up on the pitch as he believes it’s ‘as English a pitch as there is’
England may know more today about the likelihood of Ben Stokes playing on Tuesday after missing the New Zealand match with a hip injury
They must also get their head round the fact that, by the end of the tournament’s drawn-out, 45-match group stage, they will have travelled more than any other team, with a flight required after every game.
Bangladesh, by contrast, could treat yesterday’s match as a handy reconnaissance mission ahead of Tuesday.
‘It’s not ideal, but it’s an excuse we’re not going to use,’ said Livingstone. ‘There’s going to be a lot of travelling, but that’s fine – we knew that coming out here. A lot of our boys have played in the IPL and that’s just the same. You get used to it.’
England may know more today about the likelihood of Ben Stokes playing on Tuesday after missing the New Zealand match with a hip injury.
He continues to be monitored by medical staff, though he may have to wait until Sunday’s game against Afghanistan in Delhi to take the field.
His team-mates insist they can cope without him, but there is little doubt his return would lift spirits after the anticlimax in Ahmedabad.
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