‘England must block out the noise’
England head coach Trevor Bayliss knows his side must shut out the noise of an expectant nation as they prepare for a first World Cup final in 27 years.
The host nation produced an inspired display to complete an eight-wicket victory over Australia at Edgbaston on Thursday and will meet New Zealand at Lord’s tomorrow.
With the showpiece event also being broadcast on a free-to-air platform following an agreement between rights holders Sky and Channel 4, expectations will be elevated even further.
Australian Bayliss, though, has called for calm as England look to go one better than they did in their last World Cup final appearance in 1992, when they lost against Imran Khan’s Pakistan in Melbourne.
“We had a chat in the changing room (at Edgbaston) afterwards and realised we have not won anything yet,” Bayliss told BBC radio.
“There is going to be a lot of noise around ‘you guys are now the favourites’, and all this type of thing -- we can’t listen to any of that.
“We have just got to concentrate on the way we have gone about our cricket over the past four years and what has got us to this point and go through our process.”
After Australia were all out for 223 in 49 overs, England opener Jason Roy struck a superb 85 from 65 balls as he put on yet another big stand with Jonny Bairstow to break the back of the run chase.
Roy was fined for showing dissent at the umpire’s decision after he was wrongly given out caught behind. Bayliss, though, feels the 28-year-old can soon put the incident behind him.
“I think it shows the passion Jason has got for the game, and it is such a big game as well, when he was on the verge of scoring a hundred,” the England head coach said.
“He will learn from that and go on to bigger and better things, I am sure.”
The Surrey batsman is expected to be in contention for a place in the Ashes squad but Bayliss was giving little away, keeping his focus on the one-day format.
Bayliss said the return of live international cricket to traditional free-to-air television for the first time since the 2005 Ashes was “an opportunity to influence another generation of young cricketers”.
The 56-year-old is set to step down at the end of his current deal in September, no matter what the summer brings.
“I have always been a believer that four or five years is long enough, whether you are doing well or not,” he said. “It is time for a new voice for the boys, to hopefully take them to another level.”