England name uncapped Liam Livingstone in Test squad for New Zealand tour

Lester Mason
January 14, 2018

Yesterday the batsman returned to the day job, hitting 52 from just 35 balls as England warmed-up for the one-day series with Australia with a five-wicket win over a Cricket Australia XI at the Drummoyne Oval in Sydney.

England face the Black Caps, who are one place ahead of them in the ICC Test rankings in fourth, in a day-night Test in Auckland from March 22-26 and then in Christchurch from March 30-April 3.

As England tomorrow embark on the first of five one-day internationals against Australia, looking not only to get that Ashes result out of their system but also to continue preparations for next year's World Cup, Bayliss is in a odd position.

England's one-day bowling attack also offers more variety than the one that took only 58 wickets in five Ashes Tests, with Plunkett and Wood providing pace, Willey a left-arm option and leg-spinner Rashid.

Skipper Eoin Morgan struck an unbeaten 81, which included seven fours and two sixes, as England chased down their victory target with more than nine overs to spare. He has been a fantastic leader within the group and, on top of that, there's the weight of runs he has scored and the manner that he's scored them.

"He's obviously a key part".

That may lead to Hales slotting in at number three, with Sam Billings vulnerable to any such switch.

Morgan stopped short of stating what England's line-up will be in Melbourne, but indicated Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy and Alex Hales could all play.

The Australian, who has announced that he is standing down as England coach once his contract expires after next year's Ashes, was recruited in 2015 with an eye firmly on the 2016 World T20, last year's Champions Trophy and next year's World Cup.

Had Bayliss not been brought in with the 2019 World Cup so strongly in mind, with that marquee competition being played on English soil, a witch-hunt might already have burned him at the stake.

"To bridge the gap between where we were at in that World Cup and, say, being in the semi-final or the final was the first port of the call and bridging that gap came quicker that we ever thought it would.

It was good to catch up, I get on really well with Glenn", he said. We certainly thrived on that. It's still the toughest part of the game, and the format you get the most pleasure from succeeding in.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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