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New Zealand v England: Liam Livingstone promises to ‘take the bull by the horns’

Liam Livingstone has been promoted from the England Lions squad to the senior set-up

Liam Livingstone has promised to “take the bull by the horns” if he gets the chance to make his Test debut on England’s tour of New Zealand.

The Lancashire batsman is the only new face in the England party for the two matches, their first Tests since a 4-0 Ashes defeat was completed in January.

“Sometimes I have to get in the fight to get the best out of myself,” he told BBC Sport.

“That’s something I’ve always done and I don’t see it changing.”

The 24-year-old may get the opportunity to impress in two warm-up matches against a New Zealand XI, the first of which begins at 22:00 GMT on Tuesday in Hamilton.

With Ben Stokes in the frame to return for the first Test on 22 March, England will almost certainly make changes to the top order that was beaten by Australia.

If Stokes regains his regular spot of number six, pushing Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali lower down, then Livingstone could vie with James Vince for a spot in the middle order.

However, England could choose to employ Stokes at five, meaning there would be no space for either Livingstone or Vince.

Livingstone – who, like Stokes, played his junior cricket in Cumbria – added: “The northern part of me, always wanting to win and do as much as I can to help the team win as many games as possible, hasn’t really changed since coming into first-class cricket.

“There are times when you have to hold back, but most of the time it’s me trying to put as much pressure as I can on the bowler. It’s worked well for me up to now so I don’t see why that would have to change going into Test cricket.

“Hopefully I can impress a few people.”

Archive: Livingstone ‘didn’t feel great’ before 350

Livingstone averages 45.90 in first-class cricket, having made his debut less than two years ago.

Before that, in April 2015, he shot to prominence by scoring 350 off only 138 balls for club side Nantwich in a National Championship game against Caldy.

“That was the first big thing I achieved in the game,” said Livingstone, who has recovered from an ankle injury to take his place on the tour.

“It was one of those things where you don’t really realise what’s happening as you do it. My phone went mental when I came off the field and, the next morning, I was on BBC Breakfast.”

Later that summer, Livingstone broke into the Lancashire Twenty20 side as they won the Blast for the first time.

A clean striker of the ball, the right-hander was given his first taste of international cricket in the summer of 2017 in two T20 internationals against South Africa.

However, he stuttered to an 18-ball 16 on debut and was bowled for a golden duck attempting a scoop shot in his second game.

“The England experience I had in the summer wasn’t so great,” he said. “Looking back now, I’m glad it turned out that way, because if things had gone right I wouldn’t have learned much.

“My game is a lot more polished in first-class cricket than it is in white-ball games. That gives me a lot more confidence going into the England Test set-up with a game plan that I know very well.”

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