Sky Sports Cricket’s Eoin Morgan believes Liam Livingstone is a “dead cert” for England ‘s starting XI at the World Cup after a 39-ball half-century against New Zealand.
There had been rumblings about Livingstone’s batting form spanning from The Hundred this year, his bowling ensuring he was always a name in the side.
However, his strong showing with the bat has former England white-ball captain Morgan convinced that his spot in the starting XI at the World Cup should be secure and he has shown his “all-round ability”.
“He’s a smart cricketer,” Morgan said of Livingstone.
“Finding the format to be able to adapt like the guys did before him was crucial, the platform was already laid and he just didn’t come out and swing from the hip from ball one, he took some time to get going and still ends up scoring over a run a ball, you would say it is smart cricket,” said Morgan.
“He played really well and is a key part of this 50-over team because of his all round ability, in the field he is unbelievably good and his ability to bowl both finger spin and wrist spin makes him a dead cert to play every game.”
Hussain: Brook is in the best XI for World Cup | He should bat at six
For Sky Sports Cricket’s Nasser Hussain, head coach Matthew Mott should be picking his best XI cricketers for the World Cup and if he does that, the side will include Harry Brook.
Indeed, he believes it isn’t an “easy ” decision but that having Brook in the side means England have a cricketer who can “win games off his own back”.
“I would start the other way round, Mott spoke about stats and match up. I would say: ‘Who are my best XI cricketers.’ Obviously you have to look at the conditions, do you play the extra seamer or the extra spinner,” said Hussain.
“For me, your best XI when you look at the squad, one of that best XI is not in that squad.
“I would have Bairstow and another opener, it could be Roy or Malan. Joe Root at three, Ben Stokes at four, Jos Buttler at five and Harry Brook at six – awesome talent, who could burst on the scene at the World Cup and win games off his own back, brilliant in the field too and then pick the bowlers for your conditions.
“The problem with this squad is that we need back-up players in the squad. Buttler doesn’t open in 50-over cricket.
“If they’re in the field for 50 overs and he’s wicket-keeping in Chennai it’s very difficult for him to go open so if Jason Roy wakes up with a back spasm like today, that’s the decision.
“Harry Brook didn’t look like a Jason Roy opener today, he looked old-fashioned: ‘I’m going to play and catch up later,’ Malan looked like an opener.
“Malan in his last 14 games has got four 100’s, he averages 54 at a very good strike rate. That gets in your side and Roy has two centuries in his last six games.
“People get confused with Roy because he gives his wicket away cheaply and then people say he shouldn’t be in the 50-over side, he takes longer in 50 over cricket because there is a bit more time.
“It is confusing and not as easy as people think to just have Brook in, but I would have Brook in.”
England are back in action from their second ODI against New Zealand on Sunday 10 September, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10.30am.