England keen to carry on momentum against Aus

 
“That last win was a good one to get in the context of that whole one-day series. We know we can beat them, and the guys are fired up for this,” the England coach said on the eve of Friday’s Champions Trophy semifinal tie.

“When we came out here, we talked about drawing a line under the English summer and start afresh. We have seen that in some of the performances and we’ve made slight adjustments to how we want to approach one-day international cricket. The guys are confident they can do that.”

England have an injury concerns regarding paceman Stuart Broad, who has a torn buttock muscle. “He bowled at full pace in the nets, but he is not at a hundred percent and we will make that decision tomorrow whether he will play,” Flower observed. “He probably wasn’t at his best at the start of the tournament but watching him bowl in our last game (against New Zealand), it looks like he was hitting his straps. But this is a setback for him and us.”

Flower also revealed that wicket-keeper Matt Prior, who hasn’t played after England’s first match in the tournament, might be ruled out of the tournament with a virus. “Prior is still struggling a bit,” he said. He practised with us today for the first time but struggled through the practice. If we ask for a replacement in the morning, it would mean Prior is out of the tournament.”

The SuperSport Park strip has tended to favour the spinners, playing low and slow. “The pitch didn’t look great this morning but even in the two-three hours between the start and end of our practice, it has dried out quite a lot. It should be okay,” noted the former Zimbabwe skipper.

Nathan Hauritz could be a key figure for Australia on this pitch. “I guess anything can happen in a 50-over competition,” said the off-spinner, refusing to read too much into Australia’s 6-1 win in England. “We’ve seen India are knocked out, as are South Africa, and they’re the two best one-day sides in the world at the moment. The difference is that we’ve played seven games against each other and it does get a bit monotonous at times. There’s a fresh start for England here and they’ve done really well so far.”

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