BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) – The side under Eoin Morgan is “a different sort of animal” compared to previous English teams who can beat anyone on their day, paceman Liam Plunkett said ahead of Thursday’s World Cup semi-final against Australia.
Plunkett made his World Cup debut in 2007 but believes this was the first time they entered the tournament as genuine title contenders.
“For me, being involved in England squads of the past, I never expected to win a World Cup,” Plunkett said on Tuesday.
“We had amazing players but I never thought we’d win it. I played in teams where you didn’t expect to win and the public didn’t expect you to win.”
“But with this squad the public sort of expect us to win games and series now.
“We’ve played well over the last four years, we’ve been ranked number one and we’re feeling in a good place. We’ve made cricket exciting again and we’ve got people watching it.”
Plunkett has a lot of respect for their semi-final opponents but shares the popular belief that the Morgan-led side is the strongest English team in a World Cup.
“Australia are a great team. They have great players and they have experience. They’ve been there and done it before,” the 34-year-old said of the defending champions,” he said.
“But we’re a different sort of animal compared to our last team. And we feel on our day if we play some good cricket we can beat anyone in the world.”
Australia beat England in the group stage and the hosts also went down to Pakistan and Sri Lanka before back-to-back victories against India and New Zealand helped secured their place in the semi-finals.
Plunkett said the defeats made England only stronger, helping them return to their style of calculated aggression.
“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,” he said.
“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 however many years.”
(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in Manchester; Editing by Alison Williams)