England a different animal, says confident Plunkett

Sports | REUTERS 11 Jul 2019

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 today's Cricket 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. "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 expect us to win games and series now. We've played well over the last four years, we've been ranked No 1 and we're feeling in a good place. We've made cricket exciting again."

Plunkett has a lot of respect for Australia 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. "But we're a different sort of animal compared to our last team ... we can beat anyone in the world."

Australia beat England in the group stage and the hosts also lost to Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Australia's new squad member Peter Handscomb will be thrust into the semi-final as replacement for Usman Khawaja, coach Justin Langer said.

Langer also confirmed that all-rounder Marcus Stoinis had passed a fitness test.

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