England captain Eoin Morgan and Sam Billings have been ruled out of the second ODI against India. As a result, it is nearly certain that Lancashire batsman Liam Livingstone will make his ODI debut tomorrow as the visitors attempt to square the three-match series at Pune.
The 27-year-old Livingstone made his international debut for England in a T20I series against South Africa way back in 2017, scoring 16 runs in the two matches he played. Since then, the hard-hitting batsman has found himself on the fringes of the squad, with England's batting depth making it hard for him to get a look in.
Addressing a virtual press conference, allrounder Ben Stokes lavished praise on how Liam Livingstone has developed his game and called him a 'very, very, dangerous player'.
"He's been very impressive in training. Watching him go about his game and how it has developed since he first came into that Lancashire side, he's progressed as a batsman. He's a very, very, very dangerous player; he's one of those guys who I think won't let the occasion get on top of him if he was to have that opportunity to play," said Ben Stokes.
Huge opportunity for 'fearless' Liam Livingstone to impress with the T20 World Cup coming up
While Morgan has been ruled out of the series after splitting the webbing between his right thumb and index finger, Billings will miss the upcoming game with a shoulder injury he picked up while diving to save a boundary.
The pair's injury woes present a big opportunity for the explosive Liam Livingstone to stake a claim in England's squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup.
Livingstone was in good form during the 2020-21 Big Bash League, finishing as the 7th highest runscorer of the tournament and scoring 426 runs in 14 matches for the Perth Scorchers at a strike-rate of 133.96. He is also a handy bowler and will be a useful addition for England in the second ODI.
Ben Stokes seemed quite impressed by Liam Livingstone's attitude and backed the 'fearless cricketer' to grab the opportunity with both hands.
"He's a very fearless cricketer and he's got the type of attitude that we want to be involved in our set up going forward. So if he does get the opportunity, there's no doubt that he'll embrace it and the situation," finished Ben Stokes.