England will need to raise their game once again if they are to beat New Zealand and reach a second World Twenty20 final, says captain Eoin Morgan.
After an opening round defeat to West Indies, England have shown they are capable of competing against the top T20 sides in India with victories over South Africa, Afghanistan and defending champions Sri Lanka.
The unbeaten Black Caps stand in the way of the 2010 champions in Delhi, and Morgan knows England must not let the prospect of a final appearance affect their focus.
“We are not getting too far ahead of ourselves as we have another tough game against a really strong New Zealand side – one which has played the best cricket in the group stages,” Morgan told a media conference.
“It is about keeping things simple and taking every ball by ball and coming through the battle but we are looking forward to it.”
History is on England’s side with eight wins in 12 T20 internationals against New Zealand, but the Black Caps have won nine of their last 10 matches in the shortest form of the game.
ENGLAND GIVEN FREEDOM TO PLAY
Morgan wants England to express themselves in the semi-final, hoping it can make them competitive.
He said: “In my experience, in getting to the knockout stage in any tournament you have done the hard work as well and now that you have earned a licence to go out and express yourself as much as you can. To me that attitude leads to you getting the best out of yourself.”
SEAM DUO RARING TO GO FOR BLACK CAPS
So far Kane Williamson’s side have opted not to field strike bowlers Trent Boult and Tim Southee, but with a first international title since their 2000 ICC Champions Trophy (then the ICC Knock Out Tournament) win in sight they could be unleashed to help fire the Kiwis forward.
“They [Boult and Southee] are very much ready to go,” said Williamson. “We need to look at the conditions before we decide on our final side. Naturally we’ll consider the track we’re playing on, the ground size and also the opposition. At this stage we’re yet to decide on an XI.”
DELHI ADVANTAGE FOR ENGLAND?
New Zealand head into the semi-final having not played in Delhi so far in the tournament, whereas England’s last two matches with Afghanistan and Sri Lanka have been at Feroz Shah Kotla, something Morgan believes could be crucial.
He said: “We’ve become quite settled in Delhi, and it’s been good to us. Ultimately we’ve grown used to the pitch more from the first time we were here.”
– England have posted 172+ in all five of their completed Twenty20 International innings when batting first against the New Zealand.
– No bowler took more wickets during the 2016 WorldT20 Super 10 stage than New Zealand’s Mitchell Santner (9); recording an economy rate of just 5.7 in the process.
– Only against South Africa (10) have the Black Caps lost more T20 Internationals than versus England (8).
– Both of these sides had only managed to progress beyond the Super 8/10s once before in five attempts prior to this year’s WorldT20.