1st ODI Preview: Excited Pakistan face under-strength yet formidable New Zealand's challenge at home
16 Sep 2021
England bating sensation Liam Livingstone has echoed the sentiments shared by members of other international teams such as Australia and South Africa that there is nothing better than playing in the Indian Premier League in order to prepare for the upcoming T20 World Cup.
He said that the experience of playing on the same pitches and at the same venues in the IPL where the T20 World Cup has been scheduled to be played will help players earn a significant understanding of the conditions.
"There is no better preparation than playing matches on the pitches on which you will be playing World T20 and I guess that's the nice part of it. We have a lot of our guys coming on to play competitive cricket leading up to the World Cup and there will be 10 of us who will be here.
Livingstone had walked out of the first part of the tournament without featuring even in one game citing” bubble fatigue” at the time when there was a wide wave of Covid-19 spiralling out of control across the country.
Now, after returning to the Royals camp, Livingstone felt “refreshed” having spent some time with the family. He said that being in Dubai will also help him to be more refreshed as players will be allowed to do more outdoor stuff than they were allowed in Mumbai during the first half of the tournament.
"Last time was very different as we were stuck in a hotel room in Mumbai and I was already five to six months away from home during the winters. This is different as I have spent a lot of time over at home during the last few months and it was nice to get refreshed," he explained.
“I feel a lot more fresher than what I did last time. Also, in Dubai, we have got a little more outdoor space and guess we can do a little bit more getting out than what we could have done in the middle of Mumbai. So last time, I made the right decision and so I do feel a lot more fresher this time."
Livingstone’s withdrawal came at the worse time for the Royals as they were already reeling in the absence of Jofra Archer, who did not travel to India and Ben Stokes, who was ruled out of the tournament after sustaining a fracture in his finger. The duo will be missing in action from the second part of the tournament as well but Livingstone said that the Royals have a “good core” of overseas players along with a pool of talented young Indian players to fill that gap. He set his eyes in sight of a play-off spot for his franchise led by India’s Sanju Samson.
"We have got a very good core of overseas players. Whatever be the make of the team, I still believe that we have got real quality to go through and there is young home (India) talent, which gives squad a nice look. Hopefully, I can perform for Royals and take the team to the play-offs,” Livingstone said.
The Royals will restart their IPL 2021 campaign with a contest against the Punjab Kings on September 21 in Dubai and the men in pink will hope Livingstone’s ease of hitting sixes will propel them into a significantly better position from where they find themselves now with just three wins out of seven matches played in the first part of the tournament.