Liam Livingstone says he was too ‘immature’ for England debut but he now belongs on biggest stage

Liam Livingstone says he feels like he now belongs in the England set-up, admitting that he was “pretty immature” when making his debut in a T20 international against South Africa in 2017.

Livingstone, recalled for the five-match T20 series in India, which starts on Friday, hopes he gets the chance to showcase his growth as a person and a player.

“For the first time in my career, I feel like I belong in this environment, and it’s nice to be back,” Livingstone told reporters on Wednesday.

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“I think I was pretty immature and I’m a much different person now – even more so as a player.”

He added: “Ultimately, looking back, it was a really steep learning curve for me and I guess it probably did me some good in the next couple of years.

“It gave me a kick up the backside and made me work harder.

“I’m confident in my game now. If I get an opportunity, I’m sure things will be much different this time around.”

When making his two debut England appearances in 2017, the then 23-year-old Livingstone said he was “in the worst place I could have been in cricket-wise” as he scored 16 and then a duck before being dropped from the side.

Since, Livingstone has developed a name for himself in T20 franchise cricket around the world. He most recently finished as leading run-scorer for the Perth Scorchers as they finished runners-up in the 2020/21 Big Bash.

“The good thing about franchise cricket is the experience you get around the world. It’s pretty invaluable when you come back into an international setup,” Livingstone said.

“It is a great way to learn especially when you’re not playing international cricket. In three months I spent time around Babar Azam in Pakistan and then went straight into the IPL where we had Steve Smith.

“I’ve played in the IPL in front of 60,000 people, I played in a Big Bash final. These are the pressure moments you start to get used to, I guess.

“Hopefully, that will stand me in good stead.”

Livingstone opened the batting for Perth alongside England team-mate Jason Roy, and excelled in the role, scoring 426 runs in 14 games, at a strike-rate of 133.96 and including 28 sixes – second only to Alex Hales’ 30 in the tournament.

With batting spots at a premium in a loaded England white-ball team, Livingstone says he doesn’t mind where in the order his next opportunity comes.

“It’s the exciting part about English cricket at the moment; we’ve got so many of the world’s best in our team,” he said.

“One thing I pride myself on is being flexible. Wherever an opportunity comes up, hopefully I’ll be ready to take it – wherever in the order that may be.”

Watch England’s five-match T20I series in India live on Sky Sports. Our build-up to the first game starts at 12.30pm on Friday on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event.

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