England have won nothing yet warns coach
England coach Trevor Bayliss has reminded his players they have only done half a job by qualifying for the semi-finals of the World Twenty20.
A place in the last four of a limited-overs competition certainly represents progress for a nation so roundly humiliated at last year’s World Cup, but Bayliss sees no cause for celebration yet.
An unbeaten New Zealand await in Delhi on Wednesday, with the winners going on to face the West Indies or India in the final four days later.
Win both of those games and Bayliss might reach for the champagne, but until then the tournament is nothing more than a work in progress.
“We’ve made the semi-final and yes, that’s a good achievement, but let’s not go over the top: it’s just a semi-final,” he said.
“If we lose on Wednesday or lose the final, no one ever remembers the runners-up or the semi-finalists.
“Let’s keep everything in perspective. I’ve already read one or two text messages I got from England...we’ve got to understand we haven’t won anything yet.
“It can be difficult at times when you’re reading newspapers, watching television reports and getting text messages from home, but that’s a learning process.”
Asked if he could at least appreciate a sense of satisfaction among England followers, Bayliss offered a dry smile and a response.
“That might be the difference between Australia and England,” said the 53-year-old from New South Wales.
If his mission is to instil that same win-at-all costs mentality in a side that arrived in India short on tournament experience, then it is beginning to take hold.
After losing their curtain-raiser to a Chris Gayle-inspired Windies, they have dragged victory from a series of awkward positions against South Africa, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.
And those experiences could yet prove crucial as the tournament winds to its conclusion.
“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,” said Bayliss.
“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.
“We are down to the last four and are still in the competition, so we have a chance to win. Obviously the other three teams will be thinking the same, three other teams who have been playing very good cricket.”