Cricket World Cup: England happier to play Australia than India, says Michael Vaughan


England beat New Zealand by 119 runs at at Chester-le-Street last week to seal their place in the World Cup semi-finals
ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup: England v Australia
Venue: Edgbaston, Birmingham Date: 11 July Start: 10:30 BST
Coverage: Watch in-play clips & highlights on the BBC Sport website & app; live Test Match Special radio and text commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live sports extra & BBC Sport website

England will be happier to play Australia rather than India in the World Cup semi-final and should go on and win the tournament, says former captain Michael Vaughan.

Australia’s defeat by South Africa in their final group game on Saturday set-up a last four clash with the tournament hosts at Edgbaston, where they have not won since 2001.

“They won’t admit it, but England will be quietly quite happy to play Australia,” Vaughan said on the Tuffers and Vaughan Cricket Show.

“It’s going to be a difficult game but if you had to pick one of the two you would pick Australia at Edgbaston, knowing you won’t have to play them at Lord’s.”

England have won their last four one-day internationals at Edgbaston including against India last week to help secure their place in a World Cup semi-final for the first time since 1992.

They also knocked Australia out of the Champions Trophy with a 40-run victory in Birmingham two years ago.

However, they were convincingly beaten in their group game against Australia at Lord’s last month.

“Edgbaston and Trent Bridge are two of the grounds where you arrive feeling very, very comfortable as an England player, so England will be delighted to play there,” added Vaughan.

“The fact England have won two must-win games on the trot must stand them in good stead that they can cope with that pressure. But they also know Australia gave them a good hiding a few weeks ago.

“I just look at left-arm seam bowlers and I look at Lord’s in particular. Australia have two left-arm quicks. Because of the slope it can be a real advantage to have left-armers, so they are playing at a ground where I don’t think it plays a bigger part.”

England began the tournament as favourites despite a poor recent record at World Cups.

They have never won an ICC 50 over tournament and have not won a knockout match at the World Cup in 27 years.

Despite that record, Vaughan feels England’s form in the years leading up to the World Cup means anything other than winning the tournament will be classed as a failure.

“England over the course of the past four years have managed to beat everyone in all conditions and now it’s time to show they can do it under the upmost pressure,” he said.

“Failure for England for me is not winning. They are such a good team. They are favourites, they have to go on and win it.”

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