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Rajasthan Royals Playing XI: Can Liam Livingstone make an explosive IPL debut?

Rajasthan Royals, who won three games out of seven and now sit in fifth place, will be hoping Liam Livingstone can provide them the knockout punch they sometimes lacked earlier this year.

Rajasthan Royals are without their star English trio of Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler for the second phase of the IPL 2021 season, but in Liam Livingstone, who is set to make his debut against Punjab Kings on Tuesday, they have a worthy replacement.

A batting all-rounder who is enjoying the best season of his career so far this year, Livingstone is a destructive batsman who has close to 350 overall sixes to his name across formats. He had been bought by Rajasthan Royals in the 2021 auction for Rs 75 lakh, but did not get a game in the first half of the season.

However, Livingstone has since been in the form of his life, earning him a call-up to the England side for the upcoming T20 World Cup. He was the biggest six-hitter in The Hundred 2021, with 27 sixes during the competition, including ten in one match. He was the leading run-scorer (348) in the tournament as well.

The pitches in the first two matches since the restart have not been ‘low and slow’, seamers have instead found bounce and swing, conditions which will help Livingstone’s power-hitting, which he calls his ‘super strength’.

The Royals, who won three games out of seven and now sit in fifth place, will be hoping Livingstone’s explosive debut can give them the spark to give them the knockout punch they sometimes lacked in their matches earlier this year.

Probable XI — Evin Lewis, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson, Liam Livingstone, Riyan Parag, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Rahul Tewatia, Kartik Tyagi/Jaydev Unadkat, Mustafizur Rahman, Chetan Sakariya

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