“England waiting on pitch report”

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BIRMINGHAM – England may change their bowling combination for Thursday’s Cricket World Cup semi-final against Australia if the Edgbaston pitch assists spinners, captain Eoin Morgan said on Wednesday.

Morgan refused to comment on whether fast bowler Liam Plunkett would retain his place or if spinner Moeen Ali, who last played against Australia in the group stage, would be back in the side.

“Everybody is fit. It (selection) depends on the groundsman’s final preparation this afternoon,” Morgan told reporters. “He said he was going to take more grass off the wicket, but it looked good.

“If he takes more grass off, if it looks like it is going to turn... we will lean towards the spinner. It looked as good as the game that we played India here. So if it is, we’ll try and select accordingly.”

Australia are set to hand World Cup debuts to Peter Handscomb and Matthew Wade who were flown in as injury cover and when asked if England would target them as potential weak links, Morgan said it was not something that crossed their minds.

“We tend not to target individuals unless somebody is having a really bad day on the day,” Morgan said. “We tend to target the team as a whole and particularly a side as strong as Australia.

“I don’t think you can find any one particular weakness a day out and say tomorrow we are going to predict this is going to happen because the majority of the time you get it wrong.”

England are two wins away from claiming their first 50-overs World Cup title and Morgan said they had “thoroughly enjoyed” carrying the expectations of a nation as one of the pre-tournament favourites to lift the cup.

“The support we have had throughout the tournament has been unbelievable and certainly something I have never experienced in my life,” Morgan added.

“The amount of good faith and goodwill going around is fantastic. We sense the support that’s with us, but also the opportunity as well.” (Reuters)