Stokes backs ‘fearless’ Livingstone to step up for England


en Stokes is confident a “fearless” Liam Livingstone will easily slot into England’s line-up if called upon for Friday’s second one-day international against India.

An England debut for Livingstone in 50-over cricket, four years on from twice playing at T20 level, looks increasingly likely with Sam Billings nursing a collarbone injury suffered diving in the outfield in the opening match.

And Stokes said of the Lancashire batsman: “He’s been very impressive in training. Obviously watching him go about his game and how it’s developed from when first came in, he’s progressed as a batsman. He’s a very dangerous player.

“He’s one of those guys that won’t let the occasion get on top of him if he had that opportunity. He’s a fearless cricketer. He’s got the type of attitude we want to be involved in our set-up going forward. He’ll embrace the opportunity and the situation.”

Captain Eoin Morgan is the only other question mark for England after requiring four stitches for split webbing on Tuesday.

That match was Stokes’ first 50-over game for England since the World Cup final, and he is expected to bat again at No3 with Joe Root rested for the series.

Stokes admitted he had got in contact with Root for how to approach his innings higher up the order.

“I messaged Rooty on the mindset at No3,” said Stokes. “And he said play the way you play. It’s just a slightly different role batting atNo3 – maybe 100 balls compared to 60 or 70, and faced with a slightly different situation.”

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