England eased to a seven-wicket victory over Pakistan in their final T20I at The Oval on Thursday to win the series 2-0.

England won the toss and decided to bowl first, and it almost looked to be the wrong choice as Pakistan raced to 59-0 within the first six overs.

However, Adil Rashid and Jofra Archer quickly bowled Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam to turn the tide as Pakistan suddenly collapsed.

England's bowlers turned on the style as Liam Livingstone got a double wicket maiden (2-17), with Rashid (2-27) and Mark Wood (2-35) also doing their part to limit Pakistan to 157 all out in the final over.

England comfortably chased down 158, with Phil Salt (45) and captain Joss Buttler (39) getting them off to a strong start as the openers.

Will Jacks added a further 20 before Jonny Bairstow and Harry Brook, who finished the game off with a final six, saw England to 158-3 with 27 balls remaining.

After two washouts disrupted the series in Leeds and Cardiff, England got a confidence-boosting victory ahead of their World Cup title defence, which will begin against Scotland in Barbados on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Pakistan will play the United States in their World Cup Opener on Thursday. 

Data Debrief: Buttler breaks records

Buttler has broken the record for playing the most T20Is (116) for England, surpassing Eoin Morgan.

Though he did not quite reach the heights of England's win at Edgbaston, his knock saw him hit seven fours and one six on their way to a comfortable victory. 

England were left in a spin as their hopes of recording a T20 series victory over the West Indies were undermined by slow left-armers Gudakesh Motie and Akeal Hosein.

Two days on from recording their highest ever T20 score, England came up against a more disciplined bowling performance by their opponents on the same pitch at the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba.

Motie was the pick of the attack with three for 24, which included a peach of a delivery to bowl England dangerman Phil Salt, who followed up his back-to-back hundreds with 38 off 22 balls.

Salt was undone by drift then sharp turn as he lost his middle stump, although he was still England’s top-scorer for a third game in a row as they were all out for 132 in 19.3 overs in this series decider.

Five of England’s top-six departed to spin, with Hosein claiming two for 20, on a pitch that provided some help. Liam Livingstone (28) and Moeen Ali (23) put on a stodgy 40 for the tourists in the middle.

Where they had clubbed 20 sixes in their 267 for three on Tuesday, England amassed just five this time.

It was a particularly shabby end to their innings as they lost their last five wickets in 19 balls for the addition of just 11 runs, with all-rounder Andre Russell taking two dismissals in two balls.

England could not even bat out their overs as Sam Curran, one of only five batters to pass double figures, clothed Jason Holder to long-off to depart for 12.

Phil Salt was taken aback at being overlooked in the Indian Premier League auction but used the snub as motivation to inspire England to a T20 series-levelling victory over the West Indies.

While England team-mates Chris Woakes and Harry Brook saw their bank balances given a healthy top-up after going under the hammer in Dubai on Tuesday, there were no takers for Salt among IPL franchises.

Salt made a couple of fifties in his debut season earlier this year, striking at 163.91 in nine matches for Delhi Capitals, so he was aggrieved to wake up in the Caribbean and find he had attracted no bids.

 

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But three days on from a match-winning century in Grenada, Salt thumped an England T20 record 119 off 57 balls in Trinidad as the tourists set up a winner-takes-all showdown at the same venue on Thursday.

“It was a confusing morning,” Salt said after England’s 75-run thumping win in the fourth T20. “I expected to be picked up, having gone there last year and done well and after the year that I’ve had.

“I was a bit confused but it can happen. It’s part of a lottery of an auction, it happens in draft processes as well. There’s no bad cricketers on the list at the IPL.

“There’s a few lads in our dressing room who are going to have a very good Christmas and I’m over the moon for them.

“We’re very lucky with what we do. There have been a few things recently that have maybe put it in perspective. I’m just here enjoying my cricket and cracking on.”

As for whether he channelled his frustration at the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba to underpin England’s highest ever T20 total of 267 for three, Salt admitted his IPL omission may have played its part.

“It was probably a little bit of it, subconsciously,” he said, before reiterating: “I’m very aware of how lucky I am to be here playing cricket.”

The foundations for England’s gargantuan total were laid by a second successive century partnership between Salt and Jos Buttler, who contributed 55 to a 117-run stand in 9.5 overs before holing out.

Liam Livingstone thumped the last of England’s 20 sixes – equalling their record in T20s – with half of them coming from Salt, who is the first man from the country to make more than one ton in the format.

Salt opens the batting for Lancashire in the Vitality Blast and for Manchester Originals in The Hundred alongside England captain Buttler, who apparently keeps his junior partner in check.

“When we’re in the middle, it’s more getting me back in my box,” Salt said. “It’s either ‘you’re doing really well’ or ‘drop it down a gear’.

“We’ve had some good conversations away from the game, we’ve enjoyed spending time around each other as a group so we’re going nicely.”

The Windies were left with not much choice but to hit the ground running from ball one and while they themselves collected 14 sixes of their own, they were all out for 192 in 15.3 overs.

Reece Topley claimed three for 37 while there were a couple of wickets apiece for Sam Curran and Rehan Ahmed and one each for Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes and Adil Rashid as England levelled the series at 2-2.

“The boys have really pulled together and shown what a good team we are,” Salt added. “To win back-to-back games and force the decider in a couple of days’ time, I’m chuffed.”

Phil Salt followed up his match-winning century in Grenada with a record-breaking hundred in Trinidad as England amassed their highest-ever T20 score, putting the West Indies to the sword.

Having been overlooked at the Indian Premier League auction on Tuesday, Salt smashed 10 sixes and seven fours in his 119 off 57 balls at the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba in England’s 267 for three.

Salt’s belligerent knock is the highest by an England batter – beating the previous record held by Alex Hales on 116 – as the tourists took a giant stride towards levelling the five-match series at 2-2.

England’s previous best score in this format was the 241 for three they posted against New Zealand in Napier in November 2019 but Jos Buttler’s side blew that total out of the water.

Buttler registered 55 off 29 balls, putting on 117 in 9.5 overs with Salt, while Liam Livingstone added an unbeaten 54 off 21 deliveries as England racked up the fifth highest score in this format.

Four days on from his 109 not out at the weekend which helped England keep the series alive, Salt transferred his form to another Caribbean island, bringing up back-to-back tons off 48 balls.

There was no respite for the Windies on a hot and sticky afternoon, with T20 debutant Matthew Forde leaking 54 from three overs and Jason Holder and Gudakesh Motie each conceding 55 from four overs.

Akeal Hosein was the pick of the attack with one for 36 from his allocation but the hosts have been left it all to do to stop the series from going to a decider – no team has chased down more than 259.

Liam Livingstone prioritises his strike-rate and volume of sixes over time-honoured indicators of success such as averages and milestones.

The England all-rounder’s swashbuckling 103 against Pakistan in July 2021 remains the only time he has passed 50 in 36 T20s although he frequently has to hit the ground running in the middle-order.

An average of 22.29 might seem underwhelming but Livingstone’s focus on strike-rates – his is 147.79 which is the highest of any England batter with at least 20 innings – represents the changing attitudes to batting in T20 cricket.

A cameo 30 off 18 balls kept England on course to chase down 223 against the West Indies on Saturday, underpinned by Phil Salt’s unbeaten century, and Livingstone will continue to bat with a bullish tempo.

“I couldn’t tell you how many fifties or hundreds I score any more,” Livingstone said. “It’s all about how many games that you can impact and winning games for your team. I’d much rather get 30 off 18 balls than 50 off 40 balls.

“Your strike-rate is something that you pride yourself on. In previous walks of life you’d probably have a bigger eye on your average. Nowadays I’m all about sixes per game and my strike-rate.

“Milestones are actually pretty meaningless in T20 cricket, it’s all about how you can affect the game and how you can win games.

“It was unbelievable for Salty to get a hundred but I think he’ll be much more pleased he’s seen an England team over the line by hitting sixes than getting a hundred for England.”

After averaging 10 in England’s doomed defence of their World Cup crown, Livingstone has passed double figures in all three T20s against the Windies but his innings in Grenada on Saturday was his highest.

Ahead of the penultimate match in Trinidad on Tuesday, Livingstone wants to have more of a decisive influence on proceedings as England bid to overturn a 2-1 series deficit in a region which is co-hosting next year’s T20 World Cup.

“Hopefully I’m back on an upward curve with my batting which has probably been on a downward curve for the last couple of months,” he said.

“I’ve felt really good in this series, really clear and like I’m heading in the right direction. With two games left hopefully one of them I can go on, get a big score and win a game for England.

“The best thing for us is it feels like from the start of the series to where we are now, we feel like we’re learning. I feel like we’ve taken a big step forward and ultimately that’s what we want to do.

“Obviously we want to win this series but there’s a World Cup coming up. There’s a lot of focus on that and hopefully these next two games can give us a lot of confidence.”

Livingstone will represent Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League next year after being retained by the franchise but several of his team-mates are up for grabs in Wednesday’s auction in Dubai.

The eight-hour time difference between the United Arab Emirates and the Caribbean means the England players on this tour who have entered the auction – such as Harry Brook and Adil Rashid – could be fast asleep when their names go under the hammer.

“I guess Brooky, being a Yorkshireman, he’s pretty tight, he’ll probably be right up at 4am hoping that he gets a few quid,” Livingstone said with a chuckle.

“But some of the boys will get picked up and I’m sure there’ll be a laugh on the way to the game.”

West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell says he might sign off from international cricket at the end of next year’s Twenty20 World Cup, as he believes the region possesses enough young talent to fill the gap after his departure.

The explosive player's declaration followed his much-anticipated return to action for the West Indies on Tuesday, when he produced an inspiring performance with both bat and ball to lead the Caribbean side to a four-wicket win over England in the first of five T20s.

Russell took a format-best three for 19 in his first international since the 2021 T20 World Cup, which induced an England collapse from 117 for two in the 11th over to 171 all out, with three balls unused.

He later smashed a 14-ball 29, in an unbroken 49-run partnership with captain Rovman Powell, who made a 15-ball 31, to see West Indies to their highest successful run chase at Kensington Oval in Barbados.

The 35-year-old Jamaican, who expressed delight at being back in the fold, pointed out that the World Cup, to be hosted in the West Indies and United States, will be his last, but in the same breath, said he would be happy to return, if needed.

"It all depends on how the World Cup goes for me for me. To be honest, I still have a lot in the tank but based on discussion with the coach [Darren Sammy], I told him that after World Cup I would walk away from international cricket, but if they need me, I will come out of retirement," Russell said with sweat still trickling down his face after his player of the match performance.

"So that's the plan that I have; there are so many young talents here, all-rounders that are similar to myself, so sometimes you realize you're going into 36, so just give the youngsters the opportunity and if West Indies still need me, I would be willing to put in the hard yards for them to be honest," he added.

With questions surrounding his decision to comeback after a two-year absence, Russell explained that it was always on the cards, provided he performed well in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) a few months back.

"Sammy mentioned that once I did what I had to in CPL he would definitely enter my name for selection, and I had my fingers crossed because I always want to play for West Indies. Sometimes people might think otherwise and think we just want to play leagues, but I try to make sure that I look after my body to ensure that when I am called up, I am ready. So, I was ready and excited for this call up," he shared.

For Russell, the performance in which he removed dangerous opener Phil Salt, Liam Livingstone and Rehan Ahmed in his four overs, was almost as if scripted, as he revealed that he had dreamed of the outcome.

“Since I got the call up, I have been dreaming that my first match back, I would be player of the match. I loved the start that I got, picking up an important wicket, and then start to pull it back in the middle,” Russell said.

“I was excited to see all the guys there, trying to make sure that the plan that we discussed in the huddle came out and you know it was good to pull it back from a high scoring game to 170. We know how good of a quality spinners England have, so it was good to actually restrict them, and we could have some push and comfort to get the score,” he noted.

Finally, Russell, like the professional he is, dodged a bouncer when asked about the pending departure of Jason Holder, Nicholas Pooran and Kyle Mayers, who all rejected the Cricket West Indies central contract.

“I was just scrolling on Google, and I saw that, I don't know what's going on really, but I won't get into that to be honest. I'm here to play cricket and I'm just happy that I can wear this crest on my chest. So, with off the field stuff like that, they must know why they turned down the retainer,” Russell said.

The second contest is scheduled for Grenada on Thursday.

Andre Russell starred on his comeback and the West Indies’ conveyor belt of six-hitters sent England tumbling to a four-wicket defeat in Barbados in the first of five T20s.

Russell took a format-best three for 19 in his first international since the 2021 T20 World Cup to help induce an England collapse from 117 for two in the 11th over to 171 all out, with three balls unused.

England disintegrated at the back end, losing their final five wickets for six runs in 15 balls, before the West Indies reeled in their target and completed their highest successful run chase at venue, with 11 balls to spare. The run chase was helped by clearing the rope 14 times.

The Windies looked to be in strife after slipping to 123 for six, but Russell with a 14-ball 29, and captain Rovman Powell with a 15-ball 31, put on an unbroken 49 in 21 deliveries to get them home.

Scores: England 171 all out (19.3 overs); West Indies 172-6 (18.1 overs)

Adil Rashid became the first English man to take 100 T20 wickets on his 100th appearance – he was given his cap by Andrew Flintoff – while fellow leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed collected three for 39.

But despite a switch of format following a miserable World Cup and ODI series defeat against their hosts, England suffered another setback and must regroup quickly for the second T20 in Grenada.

They were on for a 200-plus total following a 77-run opening stand in the powerplay, led by Phil Salt’s freewheeling 40 off 20 balls but never recovered the momentum after he was dismissed by Russell.

Salt edged his second ball past slip off Akeal Hosein for four after England were sent in on the pitch used in the final ODI, but he settled with two more conventional strokes to the rope.

Buttler was in his Lancashire team-mate’s slipstream but brought up England’s 50 with a six off Russell after finally connecting with a ramp at the third attempt.

Joseph leaked 25 in an introductory over spanning nine balls, where he was sent the distance by Salt and saw a wide slip through the legs of wicketkeeper Nicholas Pooran en route to the boundary.

It was inevitably Russell who made the breakthrough immediately after the powerplay as Salt tried to muscle over deep midwicket only to be caught by a juggling Shimron Hetmyer.

But Joseph’s nightmare start continued after back-to-back sixes off Jacks, compounding the second by overstepping and conceding 37 off his first seven legitimate balls.

Joseph’s bold decision to take pace off was rewarded as Jacks sent another booming swing straight up in the air and departed for 17 while Buttler, who had never really hit his stride at a venue where he made a golden duck on Saturday, holed out for 39 off 31 deliveries.

At 117 for three, England were in the driving seat, but wickets tumbled from then on as Brook tickled behind off Jason Holder while Duckett got into a tangle attempting a scoop off a much wider delivery from Romario Shepherd than anticipated, instead reverse ramping to short third.

Liam Livingstone briefly sparkled as he thrashed Holder for successive sixes in the 17th over but then chopped on to his stumps for 27, too early on an off-cutter from Russell, who then snared Rehan Ahmed.

Joseph accounted for Rashid and Tymal Mills as England failed to bat out their overs and they were on the back foot in reply after leaking 30 in the first two overs.

Brandon King started the rout with 16 off Sam Curran but added just six more before being dismissed after an outstretched catch from Duckett, who dropped a similar chance to reprieve Kyle Mayers on 17.

Mayers had already put Will Jacks and Tymal Mills on to the Greenidge and Haynes Stand roof and cleared the ropes twice in Ahmed’s opening gambit before perishing for 35, falling metres short of a fifth six from Rashid’s first delivery.

Having amassed 78 in the first seven overs, the Windies found post-powerplay scoring as difficult as England, adding just 39 more in the next seven, which included Ahmed taking a return catch off Pooran and Hetmyer picking out Duckett in the deep to give Rashid his landmark wicket.

Shai Hope belted his third six but perished immediately afterwards for 36 when he targeted Ahmed again while the teenager had two in two when Romario Shepherd – England’s nemesis in the 2-1 ODI loss – edged to slip.

The Windies needed 43 off the last 26 balls but Powell turned the tide with two monster hits off Livingstone while Russell got a top-edge all the way in the next over off Mills.

England’s last roll of the dice was Rashid but he was smeared high over the leg-side boundary by Russell, who fittingly sealed a 1-0 lead for the Windies by hitting Curran for four.

Phil Salt’s freewheeling 40 off 20 balls helped England off to a flyer but they were pegged back by an Andre Russell-inspired West Indies in the series-opening T20 in Barbados.

Salt edged his second ball past slip but took two more fours in the opening over off Akeal Hosein in a rollicking start as he put on 77 in 6.1 overs with captain Jos Buttler (39 off 31 deliveries).

A 200-plus total looked to be there for the taking but they lost their way after Buttler holed out, collapsing to 171 all out in 19.3 overs after losing their last eight wickets for just 54 runs.

It was particularly gruesome at the back end as England lost their last five wickets for six runs in 15 balls.

The Windies’ fightback was led by Andre Russell, who marked his first international since the T20 World Cup with format-best figures of three for 19, including the wicket of Salt, caught on the boundary.

Jacks whacked back-to-back sixes off the expensive Alzarri Joseph, who conceded 54 in 3.3 overs including 26 in a nine-ball first over, but went for one hit too many and departed for 17 off nine.

Buttler never really got going before he was caught in the deep and England, who lost the ODI series 2-1, never really recovered. Their last 10 overs contained four boundaries and just 59 runs.

Liam Livingstone contributed 27 off 19 but chopped Russell’s slower ball on to his stumps while Adil Rashid, making his 100th T20 appearance, saw his off-stump taken out by Joseph, who finished with two in two and a three-wicket haul overall after Tymal Mills nicked off.

The West Indies claimed their first home ODI series win over England since 1998 with a four-wicket win via the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method in the decisive third ODI at the Kensington Oval in Barbados on Saturday.

In a match eventually reduced to 40 overs per side after rain interruptions before and during the match, England recovered from a horrific first ten overs to post 206-9 from their 40 overs after being put in to bat by West Indian skipper Shai Hope.

Debutant Matthew Forde got proceedings off to the best possible start for the West Indies with the wicket of Phil Salt for just four at the end of the first over.

Not long after, Forde was at it again, picking up the wickets of Zak Crawley (0) and Will Jacks (17) to leave England struggling at 45-3 at the start of the ninth over.

45-3 became 48-4 in the 10th over when Alzarri Joseph brilliantly ran out Harry Brook off his own bowling for one.

England captain Jos Buttler, fresh off a half-century in the last game, lasted only one ball on Saturday.

Joseph greeted Buttler with a well-directed short ball that he was unable to control, helping the ball out to Gudakesh Motie on the deep square leg boundary for a simple catch to leave England 49-5 after 10 overs of the rain-shortened 43 overs per side contest.

An 88-run sixth wicket partnership between Ben Duckett and Liam Livingstone provided some stability to the English effort before Duckett fell for a well-played 73-ball 71 in the 26th over. His knock included six fours and one six.

Livingstone was next to go two overs later, caught by Sherfane Rutherford at mid-on off the bowling of Romario Shepherd for 45 to leave England 142-7.

With England 161-7 off 33 overs, the rains came once again. Soon after the restart, England lost their eighth wicket when Rehan Ahmed fell caught behind off the bowling of Alzarri Joseph for 15 to leave the score 166-8 in the 34th over.

Joseph picked up his third wicket when he had Sam Curran caught on the point boundary by Gudakesh Motie for 12 to leave England 171-9 in the 36th over.

In the end, a 35-run 10th wicket partnership between Gus Atkinson (20*) and Matthew Potts (15*) helped England reach 206-9.

Forde ended with 3-29 from his eight overs while Joseph was expensive, going for 61 from his eight overs with three wickets to his name.

A third rain delay during the innings break meant the West Indies had a revised target of 188 from 34 overs.

The chase got off to the worst possible start when Brandon King was caught at cover off the bowling of Gus Atkinson for just one in the second over.

Alick Athanaze and Keacy Carty then put together a solid 76-run second wicket partnership that ended when Atkinson trapped Athanaze in front for a 51-ball 45 in the 14th over.

Captain Shai Hope was next to go, caught brilliantly by Matthew Potts off the bowling of Rehan Ahmed for 15 to leave the West Indies 99-3 in the 17th over.

Then, with the West Indies cruising needing 72 from 78 balls, Shimron Hetmyer mistimed a ball straight into the hands of Phil Salt at point for 11 off the bowling of Will Jacks.

The West Indies quickly lost another one when Sherfane Rutherford held out to Zak Crawley at long on off Jacks’ bowling for three to leave the score at 122-5 after 23.2 overs leaving the hosts needing 66 runs from 64 balls.

Carty, two balls after bringing up an excellent half century, became Jacks’ third victim in quick succession caught and bowled to leave the West Indies 135-6 needing 53 runs from 50 balls.

The 31st proved to be the ultimate game changer for the West Indies. The over bowled by Gus Atkinson went for 24 to leave them needing just nine more to win from the final three overs.

In the end, Romario Shepherd (41*) and Matthew Forde (13*) steered the West Indies to 191-6 off 31.4 overs to seal the 2-1 series win.

Will Jacks tried his best for England with 3-22 from his seven overs while Gus Atkinson ended with 2058 from his six overs.

Full Scores:

England 206-9 off 40 overs (Ben Duckett 71, Liam Livingston 45, Matthew Forde 3-29, Alzarri Joseph 3-61, Romario Shepherd 2-50)

West Indies 191-6 off 31.4 overs (Keacy Carty 50, Alick Athanaze 45, Romario Shepherd 41*, Will Jacks 3-22, Gus Atkinson 2-58)

Teenage leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed has shone for England in the Caribbean to such an extent that Adil Rashid’s absence has gone unnoticed, according to all-rounder Liam Livingstone.

Rashid is arguably the greatest white-ball bowler England have ever produced and, even though he has previously intimated he has many more years left, the double World Cup winner turns 36 in February.

He will be back for the T20 series against the Windies this month after being rested for the ODIs, but the hole left by the Yorkshireman has been filled seamlessly by Ahmed.

Ahmed is England’s youngest senior male player in all three formats and has furthered his blossoming reputation against the Windies by recording identical figures of 10-1-40-2 in two ODIs in Antigua.

Livingstone believes he is getting the rub of the 19-year-old’s reliability after taking three wickets with his own spin on Wednesday, where England’s win set up a series decider in Barbados on Saturday.

“The flexibility that we’ve got – Rehan has obviously come in and replaced Rash, we don’t even know that Rash isn’t here,” Livingstone said.

“Rehan’s been incredible for us, he’s an exceptional talent we’ve got coming through.

“What one of our strengths has been for years is the depth we have, not only in our batting but our bowling as well. As a spin department we’ll be happy with (the win).”

With Rashid out of the side and Moeen Ali likely to become a T20 specialist, Livingstone is now one of the senior players in the set-up and is keen to take more responsibility.

“Mo and Rash have been incredibly supportive and helpful of me bowling over the last couple of years,” the 30-year-old said.

“I guess it’s my turn to kind of take that over from them and maybe try and help Rehan and (fellow spinner Will) Jacks along the way.”

By his own estimation, Livingstone is currently a bowler who bats rather than the other way around as his runs have dried up since ending the English summer with a flourish against New Zealand.

Following a sparkling unbeaten 95 at the Ageas Bowl in September, the Cumbrian has a top-score of 28 in his last nine innings, while he averaged a paltry 10 in six knocks during England’s miserable World Cup.

Asked to pinpoint where he might be going wrong, Livingstone said: “If I had the reason I’d have probably changed it by now. I keep turning up to training, trying as hard as I can.

“I guess maybe just try to put a little bit less pressure on myself and go out and enjoy myself like I have done my whole career. It only takes one innings to change it around.

 

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“I’ve had it before and I’m sure when things do change around, I’ll look back on this time in my career as something that was probably a massive learning curve for me.”

Even if he is in a trough with what first brought him into England’s limited-overs sides, Livingstone is happy to provide an increasingly useful option with the ball.

“Being able to affect the game and getting key wickets for us at key times, is probably a little bit more satisfying than getting runs at certain times,” Livingstone added.

Ben Duckett cast doubt on England overhauling their white-ball approach despite a wretched World Cup which he insisted “does not define a team”.

Duckett watched from home as England’s defence of the crown they won amid much fanfare in 2019 went badly awry, losing six of their first seven fixtures before claiming a couple of consolation wins.

England’s misery has led to speculation of a reset going forward and only half a dozen of the contingent from India are out in the Caribbean for an ODI series starting on Sunday in Antigua.

Duckett is one of the beneficiaries of a number of more established stars being rested but he was adamant that England do not need to make adjustments to a blueprint that served them so well for many years.

“We have watched how England have played cricket over the past eight years and one bad five weeks does not define a team,” Duckett said. “It’s probably been the greatest white-ball team ever.

“If we can go and play how they have played over the past eight years or even half as good that will be an achievement. We know how they want to play their cricket.

“I don’t think the approach is going to change because of how the World Cup went. I think the age is probably the factor. If they win that World Cup, the same group of players might be here.

“It was potentially guys who were late 30s and coming towards the end of their 50-over careers. So it seemed like there was always going to be a fresh start after it.”

Captain Jos Buttler, batter Harry Brook, all-rounders Liam Livingstone and Sam Curran and fast bowlers Gus Atkinson and Brydon Carse are the England players out in the West Indies who were at the World Cup.

Players on the fringes such as teenage leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed, big-hitting all-rounder Will Jacks and uncapped fast bowler John Turner now have an opportunity in these three matches over the next 10 days.

Duckett rejected the notion there was any additional burdens on this group after recent events, even if the left-handed batter admitted his desperation to shine to stay in England’s limited-overs plans.

“Not in the slightest,” he said. “We don’t feel pressure, you know? I think fresh is a good word. A group of players who can go and showcase what we can do.

“But I think for each and every one of us it’s important to perform. I need to go and prove that I’m good enough to be on this team and so do the other guys.”

Duckett has cemented himself into England’s Test team as an opener but even though he is renowned for his attack-minded mentality, he has been capped in just eight ODIs and 11 T20s in seven years.

In his most recent international appearance, Duckett registered an unbeaten hundred against Ireland in September as part of a second-string England side, with the big guns rested ahead of the World Cup.

At 29, he could be entering his peak and a mainstay in all three formats but Duckett, who is expected to bat in the middle-order this weekend, is refusing to taking anything for granted.

“I’m genuinely thinking about the next three weeks,” he added. “I know how difficult it is to stay in a side when there’s this many players.

“I think the biggest thing I’ve learned over the last 12 to 15 months is not thinking too far ahead.

“I’ve got to go and score runs this series to get to the next one, there’s people banging down the door who aren’t here so, I don’t think I’m a shoo-in for the next four years. I’d be silly to think that.”

England’s early exit from the World Cup is already guaranteed but assistant coach Carl Hopkinson insists their bottom-of-the-table clash against the Netherlands is no “dead rubber”.

As the tournament finally edges towards the business end, the defending champions have long since become an afterthought in the wider context of the competition.

They have lost six of their seven games and saw their last mathematical chance of a miracle wiped off the table by rivals Australia in Ahmedabad last week.

The best they can hope for now is avoiding a first ever ODI defeat to the Dutch, the only associate nation competing in India, and keep their prospects of reaching the 2025 Champions Trophy alive.

They need a top-eight finish to book their spot, meaning there is no leeway for wallowing in their dreadful form when they take the field in Pune on Wednesday.

The appearance of Hopkinson, a low-key member of the backroom team responsible primarily for fielding, suggested the squad were not keen on issuing their own public call to arms, but he has no qualms about their motivation.

“I don’t think there’s ever a dead rubber when you play for England, to be honest. I think the lads are completely up for it,” he said.

“We’ve got two games in which we need to win both to qualify for the Champions Trophy, so I think that’s there for everybody to see. The guys are going to be obviously up for it and I think we’ll be good.

“We need to win and win well to qualify for the Champions Trophy, which is what we need to do.”

On his unexpected role as carrier of the England message, he added: “I’m not quite sure why I’m the man to explain, (but) I’m an assistant coach with the England team and I’m more than happy to come out and speak about our campaign so far.”

England have named an unchanged side for the last three games, losing emphatically to Sri Lanka, India and Australia, and could belatedly mix things up.

Harry Brook is on hand to add ballast to a badly under-performing top six, but could be added in place of all-rounder Liam Livingstone rather than one of the specialist batters.

Livingstone adds an extra spin option but has not been able to carry his share of the run-scoring load, with just 60 runs in six innings.

Pace bowler Mark Wood, who has been managing a sore knee, could also miss out with Brydon Carse and Gus Atkinson snapping at his heels for a chance.

Wood is the fastest seamer in the squad by a distance, consistently clearing 90mph, but has struggled to keep a lid on his economy rate and has only six wickets at 58.16.

Carse and Atkinson are both likely to form part of England’s white-ball future, leaving captain Jos Buttler and coach Matthew Mott to decide whether now is the time to blood them in a game with live stakes.

Ben Stokes’ fitness was under observation on the eve of the match, with the Test captain carrying various niggles. He missed the first three games here with a hip problem and is set to undergo surgery on his long-standing left-knee injury when he gets back to England.

Former England quick Steve Harmison told the PA news agency this week that the team management should instruct Stokes to leave the camp and go home early in a bid to fast-track his recovery for the new-year Test series in India.

But Hopkinson suggested that idea was not under consideration.

“Knowing Ben, he’ll want to try and play the next game in front of him and try and win that for England,” he said.

“He’s about winning games of cricket for England, so I’d imagine that’s what he’ll be thinking about first and foremost.

“Once he’s obviously made that decision to have the operation, that’s obviously booked in and that’s what he’s going to do, but it’s not before this tournament finishes.”

Liam Livingstone unleashed a six-hitting spree the last time he visited the Himalayan city of Dharamshala and believes it could be the perfect place for England to put their World Cup campaign back on track.

The reigning champions had a stuttering start to their title defence, thrashed by nine wickets after a timid performance in the curtain-raiser against New Zealand, and will be eyeing a much-improved performance against Bangladesh on Tuesday.

The game takes place at the picturesque HPCA Stadium, framed against the backdrop of the Dhauladhar mountain range and sitting 1,500 metres above sea level.

The altitude provides a boost for big-hitting batters, with the ball travelling further in the thinner air, and Livingstone had a chance to test the theory in the IPL earlier this year. He smashed 94 in just 48 balls for Punjab Kings, launching nine sixes along the way.

And, after labouring to an under-par 282 against the Black Caps in their opener, there could not be a better venue for England to rediscover their power-hitting mojo.

“It’s an incredible ground and an incredible place to bat if it’s anything like it was that day,” said Livingstone.

“Conditions here should suit us and the boys are really excited. We want to get over what happened the other day and almost go twice as hard. We want to put on a really good show and get things kickstarted in this tournament.

“Because of the altitude the ball just flies really well here. You can feel it, it makes you more confident to take on the boundaries.

“They aren’t that big anyway and the altitude just makes it better with the power we’ve got in our line-up. It certainly helps as a batter, standing there knowing you can take the fielders on.

“It’s the kind of place you can really set up the back end of the innings and score highly. Personally, I’ve got good memories here and hopefully I can repeat it.”

Despite the remote nature of Dharamshala, an area better known for its proximity to the Dalai Lama’s residence just 10km away in McLeod Ganj, Livingstone is not the only squad member to have played here.

Sam Curran and Jos Buttler have also passed through on IPL duty, while Buttler, Joe Root and Chris Woakes all played in England’s first ever international at the venue in 2013.

England beat India on that occasion, taking seven wickets with fast bowlers, and they are likely to be tempted by an extra seamer this time.

Left-armer Reece Topley was unlucky to miss out against New Zealand and heads the queue to come in, while Gus Atkinson and David Willey also stand by with Moeen Ali’s spot vulnerable.

“It’s a good pitch, with good pace and carry and it can nip around,” Livingstone said.

“It’s probably as English a pitch as there is out here and will probably suit us more than many grounds around the country. Hopefully that can play in our favour.”

The one change England would most like to make, bringing Ben Stokes back in to bolster their middle order, is unlikely to happen as he continues to struggle with a hip problem.

Without him the onus will fall on others to fashion a fitting response to their loss in Ahmedabad and Livingstone insists they are ready to oblige.

He was part of the team that lost to Ireland in the group stages of last year’s T20 World Cup and went on to lift the trophy and is unfazed a single setback.

“There’s no point looking back and regretting. We could have lost by one run or the way we did, either way, we move on,” he said.

“One game doesn’t define a tournament and if you’re going to lose a game like that you’d probably rather it was the first one.

“You can lose games and win a World Cup, we’ve shown that before. The one thing this group does well when we’ve lost a game of cricket is double down on our aggressive approach and we’ve got a chance to do that on Tuesday.”

Liam Livingstone admitted he has been “crying out for” an innings of substance after his ODI-best 95 not out from 78 balls lifted England to a series-levelling victory over New Zealand.

England stumbled to 55 for five at the Ageas Bowl but were bailed out by Livingstone, who shared a restorative 48-run stand with Moeen Ali before putting on a decisive 112 in 77 balls with Sam Curran.

The Cumbrian might have fallen just short of a maiden ODI ton but, having registered his first fifty of the summer at domestic or international level in Friday’s series opener at Cardiff after a winter in which he battled ankle and knee injuries, the 30-year-old is finding some fluency ahead of next month’s World Cup.

His innings, remarkably the first time he has batted for 50 deliveries or more at international level, ushered England to 226 for seven, enough for a 79-run victory after New Zealand were skittled for 147.

“It’s weird, I’ve won (T20) World Cup (last November) but probably had the worst year of my career for form and had two bad injuries,” Livingstone said.

“This is something I’ve been crying out for. Unfortunately, there’s a reason why there’s not many lower-order hitters that have mastered the art of the game – it’s a pretty difficult role to do.

“If you get on a roll, it’s pretty nice. But you get yourself in a bit of a rut, it’s quite hard to get out of. It’s probably the first time in my career where I’ve had two months of struggling.

“I’ve put in a lot of work behind the scenes to try and go back to knowing what I can do and that’s win games for England. Thankfully I’ve done that.”

After being blown away in Cardiff on Friday, this was an impressive response from England, especially after losing Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root and Ben Stokes within the space of eight Trent Boult deliveries.

In his 100th ODI, the left-arm seamer exploited bowler-friendly conditions after rain had delayed the start time and led to the contest being reduced to 34 overs per side at Southampton and England needed every ounce of their batting depth to dig them out of the perilous position of eight for three.

Livingstone strode out at number seven after just 12.1 overs and was strong all around the ground, while he took a particular liking to Tim Southee, with six of his 10 boundaries – nine fours and a six – coming off the New Zealand Test captain.

Livingstone recognised he owed a debt of gratitude to Curran, who was a useful foil as he contributed 42 off 35 deliveries before lapping to short third in the final over.

“I don’t think consolidation is a word we use in the dressing room,” Livingstone said. “We’ve just got to see what we think is best in that situation. If in doubt, take the aggressive option.

“We knew it wasn’t going to be the easiest pitch but it was just about getting to a score we felt we could defend.

“My initial role was to just get used to the conditions and bat with Mo and then try and put on a partnership with Sammy.

“To have someone like Sam Curran batting at eight in any team in world cricket is pretty nice. Something we pride ourselves on is the depth we’ve got, we’ve got a lot of batting for days like this when things don’t go right up top.

“It’s a pretty rare occasion we end up 50 for five because of the quality we’ve got in our team. It’s always nice that when it does happen, you can put your hand up and win a game for England.”

New Zealand were going along nicely on 111 for three but Reece Topley’s dismissal of captain Tom Latham induced a collapse, which saw the Black Caps lose their last seven wickets for 36 runs in 39 balls.

Topley, whose dismissal of Latham was his first wicket in five ODIs, then snared middle-order duo Glenn Phillips and Rachin Ravindra in his next over to finish with three for 27 in seven impressive overs.

Daryl Mitchell, whose brutal unbeaten ton set up an eight-wicket win at Sophia Gardens, overturned being given out on nought to bludgeon 57 off 52 balls.

But he became Moeen Ali’s 100th ODI wicket which saw New Zealand slide quickly to defeat in the second of four matches as they were all out in 26.5 overs.

“I thought our bowlers were exceptional,” Livingstone added. “They learnt from how New Zealand bowled and pretty much nailed the game plan.”

Liam Livingstone’s counter-attacking 95 not out from 78 balls helped England battle back to beat New Zealand and level their ODI series at the Ageas Bowl.

England were reeling on eight for three after Trent Boult expertly exploited bowler-friendly conditions early on, while the hosts lurched to 55 for five before being bailed out by Livingstone and Sam Curran.

The pair put on 112 for the seventh wicket in 77 balls, the cornerstone of England’s 226 for seven in a 34-over contest, enough to secure a 79-run win as Reece Topley and David Willey took three wickets each.

After being blown away in Cardiff on Friday, this was an impressive response from England, especially after losing Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root and Ben Stokes within the space of eight deliveries from Boult after they were asked to bat first in overcast conditions.

Livingstone, who registered his first fifty of the summer in the Welsh capital, was fluent all around the ground at Southampton while Sam Curran, with 42 off 35 balls, proved a capable foil.

Despite being without Adil Rashid because of mild calf tightness – with three and a half weeks until the start of their World Cup campaign in India, England insisted his absence was precautionary – Jos Buttler’s side showed more of a cutting edge with the ball than they had done in the series opener.

After rain led to a three-hour delay and a shortened contest, Boult wreaked havoc in his first ODI in a year in an opening spell of 3-1-3-3, first squaring up Bairstow, whose leading edge on another day might have landed safely but on this occasion was superbly plucked one-handed out the air by Mitchell Santner.

Root was beaten by a fuller inswinging delivery two balls later and given lbw, wisely declining a review as the Yorkshireman trudged off for his fourth duck in his last 10 ODIs, while Boult followed up a double wicket maiden by snaring an advancing Stokes, who clothed the left-armer to mid-off.

Buttler briefly rallied, offsetting Boult’s rhythm with three fours of varying quality down the ground in an over yielding 15, but England’s early luck was encapsulated by their captain dragging a Santner long hop on to his leg stump for 30 off 25 balls. Santner clenched his teeth at his fortune.

England were in a tailspin after 12.1 overs as Livingstone joined Moeen Ali, who drove lustily in a 48-run rebuilding job before expertly slog sweeping Rachin Ravindra for the first six.

Moeen departed for 33, the ball after taking England to 100, slashing ungainly at Tim Southee as Glenn Phillips took a fine grab.

Livingstone enjoyed facing up to Southee, with six of his nine fours coming off the seamer, including three in an over – two through power and one via careful placement.

Curran proved a more than handy ally, heaving spin duo Ravindra and Santner for sixes, while Livingstone, who got the benefit of the doubt after missing a big hit at Phillips as a review showed the ball would only have trimmed leg stump, rocked back and pulled mightily into the stands off Matt Henry.

Livingstone was unable to convert a fine innings into three figures, with Curran departing in the final over after lapping to short third to end their stand.

Willey struck with the second ball of New Zealand’s reply, snaking through the defences of Finn Allen and knocking back middle stump while Devon Conway, an unbeaten centurion in Cardiff, made a scratchy 14 before driving loosely and edging behind to give Gus Atkinson his maiden ODI wicket.

Mitchell overturned being given out on nought but Will Young was stopped on his tracks on 33 by Willey’s direct hit. Topley then followed up a parsimonious opening five-over spell by ending a 56-run union between Mitchell and New Zealand captain Tom Latham, who hung his bat out uncertainly and edged behind to Buttler.

Having claimed his first wicket in five ODIs, Topley swung the game in England’s favour in his next over by taking a return catch off Phillips before Ravindra wafted to slip two balls later. Topley finished with impressive figures of three for 27 in seven overs.

Mitchell, as he had done at Sophia Gardens in a brutal unbeaten hundred, bristled with intent and after going to 50 at just better than a run-a-ball, he launched Moeen back over his head for six.

However, he perished for 57 off 52 deliveries after clubbing a full toss to mid-off from the very next ball.

New Zealand’s hopes vanished with his departure and Willey claimed the last two wickets in quick succession as the tourists were all out for 147 in 26.5 overs.

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