England assistant coach Marcus Trescothick acknowledges World Cup selection is causing anxiety amongst the squad but has backed Dawid Malan and Liam Livingstone to come good.
Malan and Livingstone struggled during Sunday’s emphatic 74-run defeat to New Zealand at Edgbaston, which kept the four-match T20 series finely poised at 2-1 to the world champions ahead of Tuesday’s finale in Nottingham.
While Malan and Livingstone were both named in last month’s preliminary squad for the 50-over World Cup, Harry Brook remains the elephant in the room after Ben Stokes’ decision to reverse his ODI retirement saw Brook left out.
A tough afternoon at Edgbaston.
Highlights of the 3rd Vitality IT20
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Brook has responded in scintillating fashion and even white-ball captain Jos Buttler admitted there is a “long time” left with England not forced to nail down their final 15-man squad until September 28.
Trescothick admitted: “When there is that element and the noise from outside the changing room is going on, of course you start to question (things) sometimes, especially if you are not playing well, but you deal with these anxieties and problems on many occasions.
“It is up to the individuals, with our help as coaches, to get the best out of them and to get them in the right frame of mind. That’s all you try and do, right?
“You can only keep going into the middle, keep going into the nets and doing the right things because eventually it falls back into place.
“These are challenging times and we know that. Selection always brings that little something but it is about pushing and to keep giving them that opportunity.
“That is what we will do from our point of view, support them as much as we can and give them every opportunity then leave the rest for either them to score runs or the selectors to do what they want to do after that.”
If Brook is to force his way into England’s World Cup squad and final XI, Malan and Livingstone are heading up the list of vulnerable parties.
Malan contributed an 11-ball innings of two in Birmingham after a four-ball duck at Old Trafford and while he scored 54 in the series opener, the 36-year-old was dropped by Trent Rockets in last month’s Hundred to highlight his lack of fluency.
But Trescothick insisted: “We have been working at various times in the nets and opportunities when we do, talking about the fundamentals of what he does when he plays well and what he gets right.
“We won’t change that practice in what we’re trying to achieve, but it takes a bit of time.
“You know when you are going from not having batted much for the period the players have been in The Hundred, they need an innings, they need a score.
“Sometimes it is a journey, sometimes it is quickly but we will keep doing the same stuff and eventually it will click back into place. There is no doubt about it.”
Trescothick is equally convinced about Livingstone despite a lean spell with the bat with a top score of 28 in The Hundred, while he has not passed fifty for England since last July against Netherlands.
“Before we know it, he will be back and playing a major part,” England’s assistant coach said of Livingstone, who took one wicket for 55 on Sunday.
“He has played a decent amount of games, but he wouldn’t have batted a massive amount, so you still need that rhythm, timing and volume of balls you face. That’s what we will try between now and going into the World Cup to obviously get that volume up.
“The package Liam brings, the all-round cricketer we know he is and what we’ve seen in the past, let’s just give him that little bit of time.
“We know what he can do. He can win you the game with the ball or win you the game in the field, or with the bat so let’s let it happen.”