England vs New Zealand: Liam Livingstone shows batting versatility in match-winning knock

England's Liam Livingstone said he is a "better player than someone who just slogs it" after his match-winning 95 in the second one-day international against New Zealand.

Livingstone, 30, top-scored as England levelled the series in Southampton.

The Lancashire batter has struggled with injuries over the past 18 months, and has had limited opportunities in longer forms of cricket.

"That's what I've been crying out for," he told BBC Sport.

"I've been quite looking forward to one-day cricket, just because you've got that little bit more time."

Livingstone's unbeaten 95, which came from 78 balls as England recovered from 55-5 to post 226-7 in a rain-reduced encounter, was his longest innings in terms of balls faced since a County Championship fixture for Lancashire in 2019.

It was also the first time he had faced more than 60 balls since that same knock, in 177 innings since. England went on to win by 79 runs.

Seen as a white-ball specialist, Livingstone has often been used in a finishing role for England because of his ability to score quickly from his first ball.

But Livingstone hopes this performance has proven his versatility in England's middle order, after leading them from a position of trouble.

"It's because people don't get a chance to see me do anything else," said Livingstone, when asked about it being his longest innings for four years.

"My role over the last few years has been in the lower order. You only get to do what's in front of you and sometimes, it can look pretty ugly.

"I understand that, but I feel like I'm a better player than someone who comes in and just slogs it at the end and thankfully, today, I probably proved that to a lot of people."

Livingstone suffered an ankle injury in The Hundred in 2022, but recovered to feature in England's T20 World Cup victory that followed.

But he then suffered a knee injury on England's Test tour of Pakistan in December.

"It's been a weird year. It's nice that the work I've put in over the last three months has finally paid off and in an international game," he added.

With batter Harry Brook a surprise omission from England's provisional World Cup squad, Livingstone's name was one of those being mentioned as being under threat if Brook continues his fine form, alongside opener Dawid Malan who missed the game at the Ageas Bowl for the birth of his second child.

But Malan scored a fine half-century at Cardiff, as did Livingstone, whose form and added asset as a spin bowler should end any discussions over his place in the squad.

England's batting depth paid off in the series-levelling win, which saw Livingstone moved down to number seven instead of five and all-rounder Sam Curran score a crucial 42 from 35 balls from number eight in a stand of 112 with Livingstone.

It is something coach Matthew Mott will hope stands them in good stead for the upcoming World Cup in India, where England will look to defend their title from 2019, as the tournament lasts for seven weeks, and pitches and conditions are likely to vary around the different cities.

"It's something that we pride ourselves on, but it's also something that we can use in games like that," said Livingstone of England's depth.

"Sam took the pressure off me and we just tried to set it up towards the back end, and make sure we didn't go too early and lose wickets and end up stumbling to 180/190.

"I thought the boys played really well. It was probably just about par score and our bowlers managed to capitalise.

"I'm really pleased with the way I played but more importantly, I thought it was a pretty good team performance."