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England on new level compared to teams of the past: Plunkett


All change: Liam Plunkett is sure England can rule world
All change: Liam Plunkett is sure England can rule world

By Rory Dollard

Liam Plunkett has warned Australia that England are a "different sort of animal" to their predecessors.

The Ashes rivals meet in a hotly-anticipated World Cup semi-final at Edgbaston tomorrow, with Australia looking to continue their bid for a sixth title while England hope to stay in the hunt for their first.

In terms of tournament experience, the away side hold all the cards, as well as victories in the last four World Cup matches between the teams, but Plunkett says times have changed.

"They've been there and done it before, but not against this bunch of players," he said.

"We're a different sort of animal compared to our last teams. We've played well for the past four years, we're ranked No.1 in the world and we feel in a good place. We feel on our day we can beat anyone in the world."

Plunkett is the elder statesman of the current England squad, making his international bow as far back as 2005 and earning his previous taste of World Cup cricket 12 years ago in the West Indies.

He has had a front-row seat to the evolution of England's one-day cricket and has never known a better mood.

"We had amazing players (previously) but I never thought that we'd win a World Cup," he said.

"We've made it exciting again. I've played in teams where we didn't expect to win. With this squad, the public expect us to win games and win series.

"It would be nice to finish this four-year cycle. This journey we've been on, with this group of boys, it comes down to this."

At 34, Plunkett is unlikely to see service in four years' time when the event heads to India, meaning the next few days represent the grandest stage of his career.

"I think so," he agreed. "I don't think I'll play another World Cup so for me personally, it's the biggest."

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