England coach Trevor Bayliss believes his side have “a point to prove” now they are in the semi-finals of the World Cup after falling short in the last two major international tournaments.
A dramatic last-over defeat by the West Indies saw them finish runners-up in the 2016 World Twenty20 while a year later they lost at home to Pakistan in the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy.
England, whose 15-man squad features seven survivors from both of those losses, are now through to their first World Cup semi-final since 1992 and will face either champions Australia or India at Edgbaston a week on Thursday.
The team has effectively been in knockout mode for their last two matches, with wins over India and New Zealand guaranteeing their place in the last four.
“You will have to ask the players but they probably think they have a point to prove,” said Bayliss following England’s 119-run thrashing of New Zealand.
“We have to be able to produce what we have done in the last two games in the semi-final so the fact these have been more or less quarter-finals should serve us well.”
The Australian, a former coach of Sri Lanka, added: “Semi-final and final cricket is a different level again but as long as these guys (go) about their processes right in their mental approach then we give ourselves a good chance.
“All I can ask is we play good cricket because we know if we play good cricket the opposition will have to play extremely well to beat us.”
England’s shock 20-run loss to Sri Lanka threatened to derail their World Cup campaign and left even the usually laid-back Bayliss concerned.
“We completely went away from how we had been playing the game for the previous four years,” he said.
“I thought we tried to just survive and bat for 50 overs and that kept Sri Lanka in the match.
“We were able to have a chat and regroup before two very important games and the way the players have been able to adjust after those losses has been fantastic.
“Everyone spoke, including the younger players in the group, and they were very honest about how they were feeling and what they thought they had to do to crack it.”
“These last two matches we have got back to our normal approach,” Bayliss said.