Cricket

India vs England T20Is, 2020-21

Liam Livingstone has been recalled to England’s T20I squad for their five-match series against India next month, but Alex Hales remains out of favour for the foreseeable, in spite of his stellar returns for Sydney Thunder in the recent Big Bash.

With the next T20 World Cup due to be staged in India in October and November, the upcoming series is being seen as a chance to fine-tune England’s plans ahead of a tournament in which they finished as runners-up five years ago, and which has been earmarked as a significant opportunity for more ICC silverware following their success in the 2019 World Cup.

Livingstone has been on the fringes of England selection for the past year, having been called into the ODI squads for last year’s series against Ireland and South Africa, which was called off in December due to Covid concerns. In between whiles he was a reserve in England’s T20I series against Pakistan in August.

However, he has not added to his England caps since making 16 runs in two T20Is against South Africa in 2017, almost four years ago now. His final appearance, in fact, coincided with the debut of Dawid Malan, the ICC’s current No.1-ranked T20I batsman, who made 78 from 44 balls to set up a series-sealing win.

That could now change after an impressive Big Bash campaign for Perth Scorchers, in which he amassed 426 runs in 14 matches, forging a powerful opening partnership with England’s incumbent opener, Jason Roy, and saving his best for the Challenger final, with 77 from 39 balls to eliminate Brisbane Heat.

His inclusion comes in addition to an otherwise unchanged roster of 15 names who completed a 3-0 clean sweep in England’s last T20I campaign, in South Africa before Christmas.

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