• Morgan: Possible to play with a smile on your face

    Captain Eoin Morgan has urged England to maintain perspective ahead of Thursday’s World Cup semi-final against Australia at Edgbaston in Birmingham.

    England and Australia are familiar rivals – and have met for 148 ODIs since the first in 1971. The former have won 61 and the latter 82, with two ties and three no-results.

    ‘Sometimes I’m guilty of it, you can lose sight of the position you’re in and the fact you’re living your dream,’ said Morgan.

    ‘I think it’s possible to play with a smile on your face. We are excited, nervous and focused on the task at hand. All of those things. But I think excitement probably should be the dominant one.’

    England qualified for this semi-final after finishing in third position in the tournament’s 10-team standings. They won six matches and lost three to Sri Lanka, Pakistan and the Australians.

    ‘Everyone is excited to play this semi-final. The fact that through the group stages getting to this stage looked unlikely, or was called into question, makes it even more exciting for us,’ added Morgan.

    ‘We’re probably more confident than we were three games ago, we’re a different team. The loss against Sri Lanka hurt us. I don’t think we were playing anywhere near our best cricket; there was a hangover from the Sri Lanka game. It feels like we’re back to the team we are.’

    Thursday’s winner will meet New Zealand in Sunday’s final at Lord’s in London. The Black Caps beat India by 18 runs on Tuesday and Wednesday’s rain-affected first semi-final at Old Trafford in Manchester.

    Photo: Getty Images

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