Gle. imply he will be dropped for semis, says Aaron Finch

Mark Wood

Mark Wood

Watch England take on Australia in the second semi-final from 9.30am on Thursday on Sky Sports Cricket World Cup.

"I think so", he agreed.

Australian coach Trevor Bayliss was drafted in with the aim of guiding their bid for a first World Cup title.

The transformation has been impressive, with England climbing to number one in the ODI rankings under the astute captaincy of Eoin Morgan.

Around 80 per cent of the 25,000 crowd for England's group game against India at the ground were supporting the away side, and a similar proportion had been predicted as tickets sold out again for the semi-finals before South Africa's group-stage victory over Australia sent India instead to Old Trafford.

"It depends on the groundsman's final preparation", he said.

It would be the first time since 2005 that a major England men's home match had emerged from behind a United Kingdom television paywall, with cricket having a chance to reconnect with a "lost" audience in its birthplace.

Team India were originally tipped to face England in the knockout match, but things changed on the very last day of the group stage, when India defeated Sri Lanka and Australia surrendered to South Africa to bring about a big change in the final World Cup league table.

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They landed a psychological blow in the group stage when they beat Ashes rivals England by 64 runs at Lord's last month. "How we're feeling right now going into this semi-final, we'd have taken it at the start of the competition", he added.

Though they still can not be bracketed among the "invincible" Australian teams of the past, trust them to rise to the occasion when the stakes are high.They seem to be peaking at the right time and look a relaxed bunch, something that was very much evident when the entire squad walked barefoot around the outfield at Edgbaston here on Monday. He'd like to have scored more but he's hitting the ball nicely.

For those crucial wins over India and New Zealand, England opted for the extra seamer in Liam Plunkett over the additional spin option of Moeen Ali, though Morgan could not guarantee it would be an unchanged team for the semi-final. "We're probably a different team that played then".

"Sometimes I'm guilty of it, you can lose sight of the position you're in and the fact you're living your dream I think it's possible to play with a smile on your face tomorrow". "We feel on our day we can beat anyone in the world", he said.

Australia have already confirmed one change for the match, with Peter Handscomb set to make his World Cup debut for the injured Usman Khawaja.

Australia coach Justin Langer led his squad on a barefoot walkabout around Edgbaston on Monday before they shared stories on the outfield in a so-called "bonding circle".

"Unless Glenn Maxwell is terribly out of form I would be playing Maxwell".

"If you go back 12 months there wasn't much to be relaxed and chilled about in Australian cricket, was there?" We went through a major crisis in our cricket. It didn't just affect our cricket, it affected our country.

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