England captain Eoin Morgan attends a press conference at Edgbaston.
England captain Eoin Morgan attends a press conference at Edgbaston. Mike Egerton

England to get 'reckless' in bid to knock Australia out

ENGLAND captain Eoin Morgan concedes his side's new aggression-at-all-costs playing style can look "reckless" but says it's also the best way he knows to beat Australia.

The home side has already qualified for the Champions Trophy semi-finals ahead of tonight's clash with the Aussies at Edgbaston, a ground at which England scored 408 two years ago against New Zealand.

Morgan said he had emphasised to his players not to take their foot off the gas against the Aussies, who they could boot from the tournament with a victory.

That could mean another 400 is on the cards, or they could get rolled for 150, but the skipper said positivity was how they got to the finals, and they wouldn't change the way they are playing tonight.

"I think from our side of things we emphasise the positive game in which we play. Sometimes that can look a little bit reckless at times," he said on match eve at Edgbaston.

"Yeah, I suppose it can put us in some sticky situations, but we're in a position where we have nothing to lose.

"We're pretty confident at the moment, and I think the game that we've got, if we produce somewhere near our best, we'll certainly contend. "

Morgan also knows that an opportunity to take Australia out of the tournament would help England's passage to winning the tournament, something the home team has never done.

"If we're looking to win this tournament and go beyond and win the World Cup, we need to be beating the best sides in the world, and Australia at the moment are one of them," he said.

And the juices should be flowing that little bit extra for plenty in the English team, including Morgan, for whom this is a rare chance to beat the oldest of enemies.

"I've been in a position where I haven't played in Ashes cricket, and certainly there are other guys like that down in the change room," he said.

"So from that side of thing, if you never get to play in an Ashes game, it's the closest you will ever get to beating an Australia team."

The sun came out for training on Friday and the weather forecast for game day has cleared up, giving hope of a full match, which would be Australia's first for the tournament.

And with only two points from two washouts so far, a victory is the only thing that can propel the Australians in to the finals.

Aussie captain Steve Smith got his first look at the brand new pitch being used for the game, but wouldn't confirm what his team would look like.

The re-inclusion of quick John Hastings is a possibility, which could mean spinner Adam Zampa misses out.

"He (Hastings) is a guy that bowls that little bit slower and can hit the seam and generate ... or get whatever's in the wicket," Smith said.,

"Being a fresh wicket, there could be a little bit there, and he'll certainly come into contention, I'm sure.

"I'll have another look tomorrow before the toss and see what we think is the best team for the given day.

"I think for us it's just about treating it as a quarterfinal and coming out and playing the way that we know that we're capable of playing.

"It's a quarterfinal for us, and that usually brings out the best in us."

News Corp Australia


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