Liam Livingstone unleashed a six-hitting spree the last time he visited the Himalayan city of Dharamshala and believes it could be the perfect place for England to put their World Cup campaign back on track.
The reigning champions had a stuttering start to their title defence, thrashed by nine wickets after a timid performance in the curtain-raiser against New Zealand, and will be eyeing a much-improved performance against Bangladesh on Tuesday.
The game takes place at the picturesque HPCA Stadium, framed against the backdrop of the Dhauladhar mountain range and sitting 1,500 metres above sea level.
The altitude provides a boost for big-hitting batters, with the ball travelling further in the thinner air, and Livingstone had a chance to test the theory in the IPL earlier this year. He smashed 94 in just 48 balls for Punjab Kings, launching nine sixes along the way.
“It’s an incredible ground and an incredible place to bat if it’s anything like it was that day,” said Livingstone.
“Conditions here should suit us and the boys are really excited. We want to get over what happened the other day and almost go twice as hard. We want to put on a really good show and get things kickstarted in this tournament.
“Because of the altitude the ball just flies really well here. You can feel it, it makes you more confident to take on the boundaries.
“They aren’t that big anyway and the altitude just makes it better with the power we’ve got in our line-up. It certainly helps as a batter, standing there knowing you can take the fielders on.
Despite the remote nature of Dharamshala, an area better known for its proximity to the Dalai Lama’s residence just 10km away in McLeod Ganj, Livingstone is not the only squad member to have played here.
Sam Curran and Jos Buttler have also passed through on IPL duty, while Buttler, Joe Root and Chris Woakes all played in England’s first ever international at the venue in 2013.
England beat India on that occasion, taking seven wickets with fast bowlers, and they are likely to be tempted by an extra seamer this time.
Left-armer Reece Topley was unlucky to miss out against New Zealand and heads the queue to come in, while Gus Atkinson and David Willey also stand by with Moeen Ali’s spot vulnerable.
“It’s probably as English a pitch as there is out here and will probably suit us more than many grounds around the country. Hopefully that can play in our favour.”
The one change England would most like to make, bringing Ben Stokes back in to bolster their middle order, is unlikely to happen as he continues to struggle with a hip problem.
Without him the onus will fall on others to fashion a fitting response to their loss in Ahmedabad and Livingstone insists they are ready to oblige.
“There’s no point looking back and regretting. We could have lost by one run or the way we did, either way, we move on,” he said.
“One game doesn’t define a tournament and if you’re going to lose a game like that you’d probably rather it was the first one.
“You can lose games and win a World Cup, we’ve shown that before. The one thing this group does well when we’ve lost a game of cricket is double down on our aggressive approach and we’ve got a chance to do that on Tuesday.”