Liam Livingstone believes a probable eliminator against Australia at the MCG is what could galvanise England to reboot their stuttering T20 World Cup campaign.
After beating Afghanistan, England came a cropper in a shock rain-affected loss against Ireland and now must win their three remaining Super 12s fixtures to guarantee a semi-final place.
Defeat against the hosts and defending champions would almost certainly spell a group-stage elimination, although England go into the showdown having beaten their Ashes rivals in a T20 series this month.
England were 2-0 winners and were on course for a series clean sweep only for rain to force a no-result in the final match – and showers have been forecast for Friday evening’s fixture between the teams.
“We know where we need to get better and we’ve got a massive challenge on Friday night,” Livingstone said. “I’m sure everybody will be looking forward to that, park this and move on to Friday.
“We’ll take confidence from the results we had against them in that series in their own conditions. I think it’s going to be a good game and certainly one everybody is going to be excited for.
“If ever there was a game to bounce back in it’s against Australia at the MCG.”
Livingstone returned to England ahead of the tournament after nearly two months on the sidelines with a left ankle injury, sustained by tripping over a kerb while on Birmingham Phoenix duty in The Hundred.
While he batted at five against Afghanistan and contributed an unbeaten 29 to get England over the line in a low-scoring encounter, he was shuffled down to number seven in the five-run defeat to Ireland under Duckworth-Lewis-Stern, facing just two balls before rain ended the contest.
Asked whether he would prefer to bat higher up the order, Livingstone, the holder of England’s fastest-ever century off 42 balls, pointedly replied: “I’m certainly not going to say no.
“I’ve felt good from game one. Unfortunately I didn’t get my chance to do my job (against Ireland). Hopefully, come Friday, things will be different.”
While the MCG attracted a sparse crowd on Wednesday, when Livingstone collected his first three-wicket international haul, it is expected England’s game against Australia will be better attended.
As for whether he feeds off the crowd, Livingstone added: “I don’t think so. It’s another 45,000 people shouting abuse at you so it doesn’t make too much difference. It’s obviously going to be cool if there’s more people in and hopefully the game can live up to it.”