Livingstone credits time with Trescothick, Collingwood in isolation behind Nottingham blitzkrieg

Mayank Kumar

Mayank Kumar

Author| Jul 17, 1:13 PM

Image: Twitter
Image: Twitter

England’s new batting sensation, Liam Livingstone has credited the period of isolation after Covid-19 in England camp, where he got the time to “forget” about cricket and spend some time with Paul Collingwood and Marcus Trescothick behind his remarkable comeback to the cricket field in the first T20 of the series against Pakistan.

Livingstone was at the top of his game and smashed a 49-ball hundred against a full-strength Pakistan bowling side at the Trent Bridge in Nottingham. 

He said that he worked on getting better at consistency in hitting big shots which he was always capable of. However, he said that he never touched the bat even for once in that period of isolation.

"It was almost quite nice to chill out for 10 days and forget about cricket - just have a little bit of time away. I found a little thing with Colly and Tres at Bristol. Something just clicked. I didn't pick up a bat for 10 days and then came in yesterday and felt really good,” Livingstone said.

"Throughout my career I've been someone who has been a little bit more reckless. I've obviously got an ability to strike the ball but the thing I need to get better at is consistency. It's a technical thing, but mentally it helps to be able to stay calm when you're under pressure in a situation like I was tonight and swing a little bit less hard, knowing that you're in a better position to swing through the ball."

Paul Collingwood has taken over from Chris Silverwood for the series against Pakistan and he said that the focus was on improving Livingstone’s positioning while hitting the ball. He pointed out that the right-hander’s back hip was collapsing while attempting the big shot in the area between long-on and deep midwicket and the support staff focussed on correcting that specific part of his batting technique.

"We were really just trying to get the consistency of his striking a lot better," Collingwood explained. "We all know how far he can hit a ball and how powerful he is but having a direction and real kind of precision in his training [helps him] to understand exactly where he's hitting the ball and the trajectory of the ball coming off the bat,” Livingstone added.

"In the past he's always been a little bit frustrated that his back hip collapses, which can then make him hit the ball a lot higher than he was hoping for, just doing a little bit of work on how far that front foot goes out and getting the base a little bit better. T20 batting can be like a golf swing, and just making sure when the beans are going and the adrenaline is going that you keep the base nice and solid so you can get consistency in the strike.

Liam Livingstone has emerged as one of the firebrand batsmen the Eoin Morgan’s England like to play with but Collingwood pointed out that hitting the ball takes a lot more than the natural talent of striking the ball. He rated Livingstone’s hundred against Pakistan “special” and one of the most exciting innings he had seen.

"He's very thoughtful and analyses quite a lot. As much as people might think that he just stands there and swings, there's a lot of thought that goes into his game. It's not just a God-given gift that he's got - he puts a lot of work and effort into this. That was as exciting an innings as I've seen out of any of our white-ball cricketers. You think you've got a real powerful unit there and then Liam does something like that - it's adding something special,” Collingwood.

Collingwood showered praise on Livingstone and said that any batsman could not have done anything better than what he did on the night against Pakistan. He commended the “frightening” attitude of Livingstone as he always analyses his game to get better every day.

"You can't do any more than what he's done last night," Collingwood said. "It's very hard not to pick a guy if he's played like that and what he gives as an overall package is very exciting - he's very much a modern T20 cricketer. He's growing all the time: he's not the finished article by any means, which is quite frightening to say,” Collingwood added.

Livingstone would not find a place in a full-strength England T20 team but the team management led by Eoin Morgan would be ecstatic to have players like him to take over from the current breed of cricketers.

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