Rajasthan Royals' English batsman Liam Livingstone aspires for a successful Test career but he doesn't mind being a T20 "nomad" either and would prefer to spend his time building his white-ball brand instead of losing sleep over whether he can make it big in the longest format.
The 28-year-old, one of the most sought after T20 freelancers in world cricket, having played in the Big Bash League, and the Pakistan Super League, is now expected to shoulder the batting burden of Rajasthan Royals along with Sanju Samson during the Indian Premier League which resumes this Sunday in the UAE.
Unlike a lot of cricketers, who would try to give politically correct answers on questions with regards to Test cricket, Livingstone has no hesitation in straight-talk. He has not yet made his Test debut.
"Yes absolutely (on being a T20 nomad). In world of cricket, you now have two routes. If you can't make it as a red ball cricketer, you still can travel the world and be part of a lot of franchise competitions," Livingstone said.
Coming into the IPL after some smashing performances in 'The Hundred' for Birmingham Phoenix, Livingstone aspires to create a brand and fan base of his own playing the shortest format.
"Hopefully in the next few years, I can travel the world and play in franchise league cricket. The best part is to come back again and again for the same franchises, create a fan base of yours and also create friendships that last a lifetime.
"Hopefully, I can do that in franchise cricket for years," said the man, who got international limelight after recently scoring a 42-ball hundred against Pakistan in a T20 international game in Nottingham.
There have been some superb white ball players like David Warner and even before him Virender Sehwag, who made waves in the shorter formats and then had a quality career in Test cricket.
'IPL not a way to make it to Test'
Livingstone doesn't believe in taking the IPL route as wearing the England whites is not on his radar when asked about the Ashes.
"I have a really big IPL coming up and then the T20 World Cup. Test cricket is not something that I am thinking about and in the next couple of months, my aim is to win IPL and the T20 World Cup and see what happens from there.
"I certainly won't be playing IPL to push my case in Test cricket. Things like that take care of themselves and whatever will be, will be," he said.
Livingstone has had a middling first-class career for Lancashire with 62 appearances and an average of 38 plus with seven hundreds.
"I really enjoy red ball cricket and I play as much as I can when I am back home," he said.
But at the same time, he agreed that paucity of time is an issue as he is on the road during T20 leagues.
"I haven't had as much opportunity as I would have liked and I still have the dreams of playing Test cricket but with our schedule these days, there isn't too much time to play red ball cricket which is a shame.
"My strength has become white ball cricket and in these days, you stick to your strength. Hopefully, one day I will fulfil my dream of playing Test cricket."
Fresher this time round
Livingstone had withdrawn during the first phase of the tournament in India when he complained of bubble fatigue and left home from his Mumbai team base.
"Last time was very different as we were stuck in a hotel room in Mumbai and I was already five to six months away from home during the winters. This is different as I have spent a lot of time over at home during the last few months and it was nice to get refreshed," he explained.
"I feel a lot fresher than what I did last time. Also, in Dubai, we have got a little more outdoor space and guess we can do a little bit more getting out than what we could have done in the middle of Mumbai.
"So last time, I made the right decision and so I do feel a lot more fresher this time."
Stronger Royals outfit despite the absence of Stokes, Archer and Buttler
IMAGE: Rajasthan Royals team pose for a photograph. Photograph: Twitter
Rajasthan Royals will be surely missing Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Jos Buttler but Livingstone has faith in the team's other players.
"We have got a very good core of overseas players. Whatever be the make of the team, I still believe that we have got real quality to go through and there is young home (India) talent, which gives squad a nice look.