LEEDS, England (Reuters) – England’s approach to a gruelling round-robin World Cup format is to play every game as if it were their last, all rounder Moeen Ali said on Thursday.
The group stage of the World Cup involves each team playing the other nine once before the top four progress to the semi-finals.
Moeen, who will play his 100th one-day international for England against Sri Lanka in their sixth World Cup game at Headingley on Friday, said the team were keeping their foot on the gas.
“Every game we play like it’s our last game and I think if we play like that… to have the enjoyment and stuff, but every game is huge,” he told reporters during training.
England are second in the standings with four wins from five matches after dominant victories against South Africa, Afghanistan, West Indies and Bangladesh. Their only defeat was against Pakistan at Trent Bridge.
England are chasing a first World Cup title having finished as runners-up in their three previous final appearances.
Moeen said England had improved considerably in recent years but that will only count for something if they can win a trophy at the end of it.
“That improvement, everybody knows, and we have been talking about it for a while now, but as a team we know that a trophy matters for us and hopefully this is it,” he said.
Moeen cautioned against taking Sri Lanka, who are struggling to stay in the tournament after winning only one game from their five matches so far, lightly.
“Sri Lanka pose a big threat tomorrow and, as you saw against Australia, they were playing really well and probably could have won that game as well,” Moeen said.
(Reporting by Saikat Chatterjee; Editing by Toby Davis)