Liam Livingstone excited by ‘extra edge’ provided by Jofra Archer and Mark Wood

England all-rounder Liam Livingstone believes pace twins Jofra Archer and Mark Wood can help give them an “extra edge” when they begin their T20 World Cup defence in the Caribbean next week.

Archer and Wood played together for the first time in 15 months on Thursday and impressed at the Kia Oval to help England secure a seven-wicket win and a much-needed 2-0 Vitality T20 international series victory over Pakistan.

Wood clocked 96mph in his first spell before he returned to bounce out Azam Khan and Naseem Shah in devastating fashion, while Archer picked up the key scalp of Babar Azam.

It helped dismiss Pakistan for 157 in south London with Livingstone also in the wickets alongside fellow spinners Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali.

With Jos Buttler, Phil Salt, Will Jacks, Jonny Bairstow and Harry Brook all able to get valuable time in the middle across the four-match series, despite washouts in Leeds and Cardiff, Livingstone is excited about their chances over the next month.

“A 2-0 victory going into the World Cup is great,” Livingstone reflected.

“I think what was better was what we actually got out of that, especially having Jof and Woody gives us that sort of extra edge that we haven’t had before, which is pretty cool.

“Maybe not for net sessions but certainly for games and it’s great to have both of them.

“I think the group’s in a really good place, ready to go.”

On Wood and Archer, Livingstone continued: “Any team that has them, before you even start the game you feel like you’re one step ahead.

“We know pace can work one of two ways: it can get you wickets and it can go for runs.

“They’re not always just going to blow teams away but I think having those two is a pretty big weapon and CJ (Chris Jordan) has been bowling beautifully as well.

“We feel like we’ve got pretty much all bases covered, which is what you want going into a World Cup.”

Mark Wood and Jofra Archer bring extra pace to England's attack
Mark Wood and Jofra Archer bring extra pace to England’s attack (Mike Egerton/PA)

It is a far cry from England’s dismal defence of their 50-over crown in India last winter, which sparked debate over the positions of captain Buttler and head coach Matthew Mott.

The duo received a strong vote of confidence, especially after they had guided England to victory in the T20 World Cup in Australia in 2022 and Livingstone feels the group are in a much better place.

He added: “We won a World Cup in Australia, so I think we had a pretty strong side there but certainly we feel like we’ve got a very good team.

“I think we’re in a much better place than we were six months ago, which is pretty exciting for all of us.”

Livingstone was able to warm up for the World Cup in style at the Kia Oval with a rare double-wicket maiden and revealed he is finally pain-free again after a difficult period with a knee injury.

“It’s not been the most enjoyable 18 months of trying to play with a niggle,” the 30-year-old explained.

“It kind of drains your spirit, drains your enjoyment of cricket. I was in a pretty crap place, shall we say, at the end of the IPL (Indian Premier League). It was kind of getting too much.

“Thankfully, the injection seems to have worked and just being able to play cricket pain-free for the first time in two years is the exciting part for me.

“This series, I came in a lot happier, enjoying my cricket a little bit more and being able to move my feet when I bat also really helps!

“It’s much better. I feel like I’ve got a smile on my face and that’s all that really matters to me.”