Stokes, Livingstone in England cricket squad for NZ Tests

Alex Hales

Alex Hales of England

"My ultimate goal is to play Test cricket for England, and going to Australia with the Lions was the best way to give myself the best chance of doing that".

Former captain Kevin Pietersen was one player never to be selected again after England's 2013-14 Ashes loss, and Nathan Lyon provocatively claimed he wanted to end more careers ahead of this summer's series.

'I would like to prove to everyone, to my team-mates and the media, that I can be that X-factor bowler they want. But, as with the Test Matches in Australia, the story is far less complex...

Should Livingstone play in New Zealand, Livingstone would become the first Cumbrian player to represent his country in Test cricket since Norman Gifford gained the last of his 15 caps, also against New Zealand, in June 1973.

In other words, the European Central Bank are effectively hoping to bumble along with Bayliss until that glorious moment when - all being well - he lifts the World Cup and rides off into the sunset, main mission accomplished.

The year 2019 was always the natural point to break with him in any event, given the significance of his white-ball remit, while the man himself does not believe in staying anywhere beyond a four or five-year period, arguing that a coach's voice might otherwise grow stale.

"Davey (Warner) has been exceptional in one-day cricket opening for the past few years, Finchy (Aaron Finch) played well in the last series in India".

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Liam Plunkett insists England's one-day specialists have no reason to be cowed by Australia's Ashes success.

Livingstone made his County Championship debut in 2016 and hit his maiden First Class century in just his third game against Somerset, having made his T20 bow in the previous season, when Lancashire won the NatWest T20 Blast for the first time in the Club's history.

Bayliss's laid-back approach has fitted in well with a group of young, exciting players who have shone in an environment that has promoted aggression and flair.

"He is a very talented and tough cricketer who has the ideal qualities and character to be successful in the Test arena", he added.

The series against Australia will be interesting if only to see how England respond to the Ashes defeat. "To get a win out here is pretty big".

For Bayliss's sake - and that of the European Central Bank - one must hope that they do.

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