England skipper Eoin Morgan talking during post-match press conference on Thursday. -ICC
England must not "shy away" from the World Cup final against New Zealand on Sunday, says captain Eoin Morgan.The hosts thrashed Australia by eight wickets at Edgbaston to secure their first final appearance since 1992. "It's a day to look forward to," said Morgan.
"We've created the opportunity to play in a World Cup final and it will be a matter of trying to keep doing the same things - produce what we can in a performance, but also enjoy the day."
England swept aside the defending champions with a magnificent performance in Birmingham, reducing Australia to 14-3 through some brilliant new-ball bowling by Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer. Although Steve Smith's 85 took Australia to 223 all out, England galloped to their target, winning with almost 18 overs to spare after Jason Roy crunched 85 of his own.
"Today was close to a perfect performance," Morgan told BBC Test Match Special. "Right from the two bowlers up front - Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer bowled a hell of a spell. "They put pressure on with early wickets and allowed us to stay on the front foot."
England's group-stage defeat by Australia left them on the brink of going out, but they have since beaten India, New Zealand and produced their best performance against their oldest enemies in front of a raucous crowd. "We've got better and better as a group over the last three games," added batsman Morgan, who made 45 not out. "We knew we had to do that to be contenders. Today was a step further in the performance.
"Everyone on the field and in the changing room loved every ball that was bowled. There was no lack of commitment, application. We had a bit of a day out. "It's cool when it happens like that, particularly when the bowlers bowl like that. It's awesome."
England's run to the final is part of a remarkable turnaround from the previous World Cup, when Morgan's men were dumped out in the group stages. "If you said to me we would reach the final after we had been knocked out of the 2015 World Cup I wouldn't have believed you," said Morgan.
"It sums up how far we have come in the last four years. Everyone in the changing room - the squad, all of the coaches, the backroom staff - should take a huge amount of credit."
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