England have announced their playing 11 for the first Test match against Pakistan in Rawalpindi, starting on Thursday, December 1. Hard-hitting all-rounder Liam Livingstone is all set to make his debut in this match. Will Jacks was also in contention, but the bowling option, especially a spinning one, provided by Livingstone put him ahead of Jacks.
Liam Livingstone plays his County cricket for Lancashire and hasn’t played a first-class match since September 2021. In the warm-up game against England Lions in Abu Dhabi, he scored 36 off 23 balls and took two scalps.
In the 62 matches he has played Lancashire, he scored 3069 runs at an average of 38.36, including 15 half-centuries and 7 centuries. He has also scalped 43 wickets. He will be handed the 708th Test cap, and the captain Ben Stokes has said his lack of red-ball cricket wouldn’t be seen as a barrier.
“The skill he has with the ball and the way he plays with the bat is very aligned with the way we want to see the team play. I don’t necessarily think that not playing a red-ball game is going to be too much of a thing for him,” Stokes said.
He’s a very natural cricketer, he’s going to go out there and really express himself. I’m looking forward to seeing him in the whites. He did say when he got his white pads out of the bag ‘what are these?” he added.
We have named our XI for our first Men's Test against Pakistan!
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) November 29, 2022
England’s playing 11 includes six batters with a wicket-keeping option in Ben Foakes, who will bat at No.7 despite bringing Livingstone into the team.
England’s playing 11 for the first Test vs Pakistan: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (c), Ben Foakes (wk), Liam Livingstone, Jack Leach, Ollie Robinson, James Anderson.