We won’t be scared by run-chase, says Bayliss
England’s to lose World Cup: Lyon
MANCHESTER: Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon has tried to ramp up the pressure on England by insisting “it’s their World Cup to lose” ahead of a hugely anticipated semi-final clash between the arch rivals on Thursday.
Reigning champions Australia were denied top spot in the group stage after a dramatic 10-run defeat by South Africa at Old Trafford on Saturday.That result means they will face Ashes foes England in Birmingham for the right to play in the final at Lord’s on July 14.
Australia beat England by 64 runs in a group match and finished above Eoin Morgan’s men in the table. But off-spinner Lyon, who controversially said he wanted to end the Test careers of some England players ahead of Australia’s 4-0 home Ashes win of 2017/18, insisted the burden of expectation was on the tournament hosts, even though England have never won the World Cup.
“They’re full of world-class players and they’ve been the number one team for a couple of years now,” Lyon said after Saturday’s match.“They should be going into this World Cup as favourites, it’s all on them. It’s their World Cup to lose if you ask me.
“We’ve got nothing to lose, we’ve only got stuff to gain. That’s the exciting thing about it.” Mitchell Starc took two for 59 against the Proteas to move him to 26 wickets as he equalled compatriot Glenn McGrath’s record for most scalps at a single World Cup.
The left-arm fast bowler aggravated a right ankle injury by landing awkwardly in a foot hole but Starc was optimistic he would be fit to face England.Australia beat England by 64 runs at Lord’s earlier in the World Cup, with Starc taking four for 43.
Starc said the manner of that victory has given Australia a template for Thursday, even though England opener Jason Roy, who missed that match with a hamstring injury, is now fit and in the runs again.
Starc unsettled Morgan at Lord’s with his use of the short ball, prompting the England captain to try to hook his way out of trouble only to be caught in the deep.Former England captain Kevin Pietersen even suggested Morgan was scared of facing Starc but the bowler himself was less certain.
Meanwhile England coach Trevor Bayliss has warned Australia that his side won’t crack under pressure if they have to bat second in Thursday’s World Cup semi-final.Bayliss’s side lost to Australia at Lord’s in the group stage after failing to chase down the holders’ total of 285-7.
England were bowled out for 221 against Australia and also lost to Pakistan and Sri Lanka after batting second. Those defeats raised concerns about the World Cup hosts’ ability to cope with the stress of run chasing. But Bayliss has no concerns that England will panic if they find themselves in the position of chasing down a score at Edgbaston.
“Over the past four years we have won 14 of the last 17 times we have batted second,” he told BBC Radio 5Live’s Sportsweek programme. “So batting second doesn’t scare our guys and the wickets are a little better now than they were earlier in the tournament.
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