Shane Warne has called for England to call up Liam Livingstone for the fourth Test against India at The Oval. He further stated that Sam Curran could lose his place in the side for a more specialist option in Saqib Mahmood, Jack Leach or Mark Parkinson, depending on the conditions.
Liam Livingstone has been in prime white-ball form of late, making his mark in England colours, as he has been in the Global T20 Leagues. The explosive right-hander had struck a 42-ball century against Pakistan earlier this summer - England’s fastest in the format - while also plying his trade for Lancashire at the T20 Blast. He was named the MVP at The Hundred recently, where he represents the Birmingham Phoenix outfit.
While his numbers in the County Championship have been far from great - 65 runs at 10.83 and three wickets at 57.66 from five matches - Shane Warne feels it could be the right time for him to make his Test debut, considering his recent limited-overs exploits.
"Is there any chance Livingstone comes in?" Warne wondered, during a chat with Sky Sports. "He averages 40 in first-class cricket, he's in unbelievable touch, on a flat wicket at The Oval, I just think it might be time for him to come in - play 'The Beast'!"
Warne further stated that Sam Curran, the all-rounder, might lose his place at The Oval, having done little of note in the first three Tests. Interestingly, Joe Root had backed Curran after England’s Headingley win on Saturday, reminiscing his Player of the Series performance during India’s last trip in 2018.
"I don't think Sam Curran plays," said Warne, who bagged 129 of his 708 Test wickets in England. "Being your fourth seamer, batting at No 8 - hasn't scored a hundred, hasn't taken a five-for in Test cricket. I know he's a very good cricketer but I don't know what he's in the team for, he's a bit 'bits and piece-y' for me for Test cricket.
"So I'd like to see something more specific, whether that is a Mahmood, a Wood, or a spinner. If you get to The Oval and you think it's going to turn, then maybe Jack Leach or [Matt] Parkinson, something like that.
"If it is just normal, then [Craig] Overton can bat and catch in the slips as well so he's your bowler who can add some lower-order runs, [Ollie] Robinson can bat as well. So Curran out and either another spin or a fast bowler in."