Liam Livingstone says England are ready to peak at the perfect moment against India after a rollercoaster ride to the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup.

The defending champions now know they will meet the world’s number one side on Thursday in Guyana – a venue known for its spinning conditions – after India topped their group with victory over Australia.

Jos Buttler’s side have had a turbulent time since arriving in the Caribbean at the start of the month, almost bowing out in the first round as rain threatened to condemn them to an early exit.

A heavy loss to Australia and a mismanaged run-chase against South Africa also left them in trouble at various points but it was Buttler’s side who became the first team to seal their spot in the final four courtesy of a huge 10-wicket win over the United States.

And while they may not have enjoyed the smoothest campaign so far, all-rounder Livingstone believes things are falling into place at the perfect moment.

Harry Brook, left, and batting partner Liam Livingstone in action against South Africa
Harry Brook, left, and batting partner Liam Livingstone in action against South Africa (Ramon Espinosa/AP)

“Sometimes it is better in tournament cricket to sneak up and nick it at the end. Hopefully that is the way we will go,” he said.

“We are peaking at the right time, so hopefully we can win the next two games and retain the World Cup.

“It’s been up and down until now but we are finding our rhythm and our best game of cricket came at the best time. We’re back in this tournament and that’s all that matters.

“It’s been a great last week or so, everyone is getting runs and wickets so it feels like we are in a really good place.”

There is one possible scenario that would puncture England’s growing optimism – with thunderstorms forecast in Guyana and no reserve day in place. Under ICC regulations, an abandonment would see India qualify based on their superior world ranking.

England’s self-belief has been built on some merciless thrashings of the associate nations, triumphing by massive margins against Namibia, Oman and the USA. They also came through a tougher game against co-hosts the West Indies in St Lucia.

But for Livingstone, the missed opportunity against the Proteas still gnaws away. A top-order misfire left them up against it only for his stirring stand of 78 with Harry Brook to take it all the way to the wire.

Livingstone, whose lower-order power-hitting is not always required when the going is good, struck 33 in 17 balls but was not quite able to see it home. And that provides the motivation for the challenge ahead.

“I was disappointed I didn’t get us over the line, I felt that was my time in this tournament, my chance to win us a game,” he said.

“Hopefully that time is still to come. Hopefully there’s another opportunity when I get a chance to affect the game. I don’t feel like I have the most glamorous role in this team to be honest but I guess my job is to be there and be bang on it when needed.

“I’m always going to be harsh on myself and my role is to finish games off. I had a chance to do it the other day and didn’t pull it off.”

Livingstone showed off the other side of his game against the Americans on Sunday, bowling a disciplined mixture of leg-breaks and off-spin and getting through his full allocation of four overs for just the sixth time in 47 matches.

His ability to turn the ball in different directions against right and left-handers makes him a handy proposition and could come into play even more with slow bowlers likely to come to the fore in the knockouts.

“I haven’t bowled that much in the tournament to be fair but one of the things I pride myself on is always being able to contribute to the team at any given moment,” he said.

“When the team needs something I have to stand up, put my hand up and deliver for the lads. It was nice to get a good bowl and hopefully the pitches in the semi-final spin.”