Eoin Morgan wants his England side to embrace the fact they are “living the dream” of a World Cup semi-final against Australia.
Occasions do not come much bigger for England cricketers – though a Lord’s final on Sunday would fit the bill should they win at Edgbaston – and the captain fully appreciates the scale of the opportunity.
“Sometimes I’m guilty of it, you can lose sight of the position you’re in and the fact you’re living your dream,” he said.
“I think it’s possible to play with a smile on your face tomorrow.”
Asked if his side were feeling excited, nervous or simply focused on the task at hand, he said: “All of those things. But I think excitement probably should be the dominant one.
“Everyone is excited to play this semi-final. The fact that through the group stages getting to this stage looked unlikely, or was called into question, makes it even more exciting for us.”
Morgan’s side have established a proud recent record against Australia, winning 10 of the last 11 one-day internationals between the old rivals prior to this tournament.
That counted for nothing in the group stages, when Australia claimed a 64-run win at Lord’s to nudge the hosts towards the brink.
Morgan admits England were not themselves in that match, knocked off course by a tame defeat to Sri Lanka, but feels they are now back to their best.
“We’re probably more confident than we were three games ago, we’re a different team,” he said.
“The loss against Sri Lanka hurt us. I don’t think we were playing anywhere near our best cricket, there was a hangover from the Sri Lanka game.
“It feels like we’re back to the team we are.”