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‘England different sort of animal’

Liam Plunkett says England are “a different sort of animal” to previous ODI teams ahead of their first World Cup semi since 1992.

WT24 Desk

Liam Plunkett has said the current England squad are “a different sort of animal” to their previous one-day international teams, according to Sky Sports.

The hosts, and pre-tournament favourites, face Australia in their World Cup semi-final at Edgbaston on Thursday – with the reigning champions never having lost a last-four match in the competition.

Despite history being on Aaron Finch’s team’s side, Plunkett believes this current crop of England players can inflict an unwanted record on their opponents.

“Australia have past experience” he said. “They’ve been there and done it before but we’re a different sort of animal compared to our last teams.

“We’ve played well over the last four years, we’ve been ranked No 1 and we’re feeling in a good place.

“They’re a great team and have great players but we feel on our day if we play some good cricket we can beat anyone in the world.”

The carrot of reaching a World Cup final on home turf is an undeniable driving force as England aim to reach the showpiece match for a fourth time.

And Plunkett added that unlike in previous campaigns it is nice to have high expectations from the public but added the No 1 ODI side still had to earn the right to lift the World Cup trophy.

“With what’s to come after it, a World Cup final, the semi-final is huge,” he said. “Playing for your country is massive and if we can go ahead and win this game and win the final, it’s huge for English cricket.

“We’ve made it exciting again and we’ve got people watching it. I played in teams where you didn’t expect to win, the public didn’t expect you to win.

“But this squad have brought… well the public sort of expect us to win games now and win series.

“It would be nice to finish this four-year cycle winning the World Cup. We don’t ‘deserve’ it – no one ‘deserves’ to win it – but we deserve to be in the semi-final and give it our best shot.”

England’s participation in the semi-finals looked less than certain after losses to Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia left them on the brink of missing out, before crucial victories over India and New Zealand.

With Jason Roy sidelined with a hamstring strain and Eoin Morgan’s side reeling from the unexpected loss to Sri Lanka, Plunkett admitted the team went away from playing the cricket that had proved successful in the past.

‘We went away from our cricket,” the seamer said. “We like to be positive but not reckless and we went away from our positive brand of cricket and went into our shell a little bit.

“We know we’re better than that. We want to attack in a positive way without being reckless and I think that’s how we’ve been for the last few years.

“When we have got beaten we’ve not taken it lightly but we’ve put a line under it and gone on to the next game.

“But, after getting beaten against Pakistan and Sri Lanka, we dwelt on it a little bit rather than just forgetting about it and moving on.

“We had a few bad games, maybe went away from our style of cricket but I feel like we’ve caught that in time and went back to playing our best brand of cricket.

“I think we’ve had a wobble at the right time, bit of a blip, but obviously, it’s made us stronger. We’re in a great place now and we’d have took it at the start of the competition, how we’re feeling right now going into a semi-final.”

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