Cricket

England coach Trevor Bayliss thinks his side will be better for their hard road to the World Twenty20 semi-finals.

Trevor Bayliss believes England are hardened to T20 success

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Head coach Trevor Bayliss believes England's nail-biting run to the World Twenty20 semi-finals has toughened them up for a victory push.

New Zealand are almost certainly waiting for England having won four from four in Group Two, crushing Australia, Pakistan and Bangladesh along the way.

Spurred on by the spin trio of Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi and Nathan McCullum, the Black Claps have sailed through without a blemish.

Bayliss' side have not had it so easy - losing their opener against the West Indies, needing a tournament record run-chase to beat South Africa and recovering from a major wobble against Afghanistan.

Then came their virtual quarter-final against Sri Lanka on Saturday, a see-saw encounter that was finally settled in England's favour by some outstanding death bowling by Chris Jordan and Ben Stokes.

Watching from the sidelines cannot have been easy but Bayliss hopes his players will be battle-hardened by events so far in India.

"We've been under pressure in a couple of the wins we've had. It does a fair bit for us I think," he said.

"Once you've been there and been able to get through tight games it gives you the belief that you are good enough to do it.

"The more times you're in the situation the better for the long-term benefit of the team.

"When you've been through it once or twice you can get used to the pressure to a degree. They will know now what to expect and how they react under that pressure, and they'll be able to draw on their experiences."

Had Angelo Mathews' stirring fightback carried Sri Lanka over the line in Delhi, England would have been booking an early flight home rather than being two wins from the trophy.

Bayliss, though, is typically measured in assessing the task at hand.

"We've got to win the next game and our concentration will be on that solely," he said.

"We will not change anything, it's still another game of cricket.

"The boys will know that the opportunities are there for us but if we get distracted by outside influences or what's going on around us we won't play well. We've got to concentrate on going out there and doing what we've done so far. If we play good cricket we've a chance to win."

England have needed several crucial contributions to get them this far, with Joe Root, Jos Buttler, Jason Roy and Moeen Ali all playing important innings and impressive showings from each of their four seamers in the past two games.

But the two disciplines have yet to be knitted together seamlessly and more will be demanded from spinners Adil Rashid and Moeen.

"I think as a coach you're always looking for the team to play a perfect match and I don't think we've played that perfect match as yet," assessed Bayliss.

"We've batted or bowled well at diffferent times, we've had times when we've bowled well then not so well and the same with the batting.

"New Zealand have been in very good form and they haven't lost yet so it will be a tough match.

"What we've got to do is make sure we're the ones who are playing good cricket, if we are then anything can happen."

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