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Update Livingstone called up as England name full-strength squad for India T20Is
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[Image: livingstone-is-in-line-for-a-c.jpg]

England have named a full-strength 16-man squad for the upcoming T20I series against India. Jos Buttler will return after missing three of the four Tests on this tour but Joe Root and Alex Hales have been overlooked once again.

England have also added Liam Livingstone to the mix. The 27-year-old opening batsman from Lancashire was part of England's ODI squad on their recent tour of South Africa and now makes the cut for the T20I side after impressive performances for Perth Scorchers in the latest edition of Big Bash League. He last played a T20I for England in June 2017.

"Joe has an incredibly busy year coming up," said national selector Ed Smith on Root's exclusion. "It's also the case that England have won seven out of eight T20 series, with the eighth being a draw. That coincided in 2018 with moving towards a very aggressive batting order.

"He knows he has a lot of demands on his energy and his resources in Test cricket, where he is the leader and central to our success. He knows if he he doesn't play in that T20 World Cup, and no decision has been made because he might come back in, it shows how strong a position English cricket is in. That's pretty much exactly what Joe has said and I can't improve on that," he added.

England have also named two reserve players in Jake Ball and Matt Parkinson who will serve as backups should a pacer or a spinner get injured or sick.

England also sent a full-strength squad to South Africa earlier this year in a bid to prepare for the upcoming T20 World Cup in India. Captain Eoin Morgan spoke in August about the need for "getting our strongest team on the park as often as we can to define (their) roles" as the cricket calendar continues to be disrupted by COVID-19.

England will play India in five T20Is in March, with all the games taking place at the new Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad. England will then travel to Pune for three ODIs but the squad for that will be announced later.

The T20I squad will depart for India on February 26, with the first match scheduled on March 12.

Squad: Eoin Morgan ©, Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonathan Bairstow, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, Mark Wood.

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