ENGLAND want to reduce Aussie cheats Steve Smith and David Warner to tears again today.
The pair bawled in public after being caught red-handed in the Sandpapergate scandal — that saw them cop a year’s ban for ball tampering.
Now they face Eoin Morgan’s troops in the cauldron of Edgbaston in a blockbuster World Cup semi-final.
Morgan declared: “We’re more confident than were three games ago, we’re a different team. It feels like we’re back.”
The passionate Birmingham fans are sure to give Smith and Warner a hostile reception.
They know England will never have a better chance of lifting the World Cup.
If Morgan’s men win today, they will face New Zealand in the final at Lord’s on Sunday. They crushed the Kiwis by 119 runs last Wednesday.
Jofra Archer and Mark Wood will face off against Mitchell Starc in the battle of the speed merchants. All are capable of ramping it up over 95mph.
Starc put Morgan in hospital with concussion in 2015 after striking him on the helmet.
And Morgan was accused by Kevin Pietersen of looking scared when facing Starc during England’s group stage defeat to Australia.
But the Irishman dismissed KP’s comments with the same disdain he reserves for the thoughts of Geoff Boycott.
Morgan responded: “When Kevin Pietersen comes out with a comment, it’s very similar to comments I address from Geoffrey Boycott.
"They are not ones that are considered good for a team environment and don’t take the best interests of the team or player.
“Guys are trying their heart out to do well for their country.”
Morgan and KP used to be friends but fell out when he closed the door on Pietersen’s return to the one-day side.
Morgan has been instrumental in leading England from a shambles four years ago to a first World Cup semi in 27 years.
He wants his team to play with the same positive intent as in the must-win victories over India and New Zealand.
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It would be a disaster if they revert to the tentative approach they showed in losses to Sri Lanka and Australia.
He explained: “We must stick to our strengths.
“If that means being knocked out here or winning the World Cup, I think the guys will be happy.”
Peter Handscomb will make his World Cup debut for Australia in place of crocked Usman Khawaja.
LIKELY LINE-UPS — ENGLAND: Roy, Bairstow, Root, Morgan (capt), Stokes, Buttler (wkt), Woakes, Rashid, Plunkett, Archer, Wood.
AUSTRALIA: Warner, Finch (capt), Smith, Handscomb, Maxwell, Stoinis, Carey (wkt), Starc, Cummins, Lyon, Behrendorff.
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