Vaughan focussed on mission against Australia
St. John's (Antigua), April 7 (IANS-CMC) England's captain Michael Vaughan said his team was focused on their big Super Eight match of the World Cup against Australia to be played Sunday at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.
"I wouldn't say we are relaxed but we are focused," Vaughan told reporters after a practice session Friday at the Antigua Recreation Ground.
After narrowly losing by two runs off the last ball to Sri Lanka Wednesday, the English know that another debacle against the world champions would scupper their chances of making it to the semi-finals.
But Vaughan said he was not daunted especially after they defeated the Aussies in the Commonwealth Bank One-Day Internationals series in February.
"We are taking the positives from the way we played against Sri Lanka. We didn't get the two points but it doesn't count for nothing.
"We need to take that performance into the game against Australia Sunday. They have dominated every game and they are playing with a strong mentality and we have to be at our best to match them and give them a good game," said Vaughan.
He pointed out they would "need a bit of luck to win matches" but conceded "it evens itself out over a period of time".
Asked about the role of influential batsman, Kevin Pietersen, the captain said he was looking forward to him playing a big game.
"He's obviously one of our leading players. When you play the big game you need your big players to stand up and play. Obviously we are looking to KP (Kevin Pietersen) to get a big score as well as the other batsmen," Vaughan noted.
England have maintained a constant batting line-up in their five matches to date but they might be forced to make changes at the top of order which is yet to provide a good start.
It could mean the dropping of left-handed opener Ed Joyce for the experienced Andrew Strauss who lost his place after the series in Australia. Strauss is yet to play a match.
"That's an area (top order) we will be discussing tonight. We have an idea where we are going to go because it is an area of concern," Vaughan admitted. "We have to get guys to start scoring hundreds because we haven't done so in the tournament so far."
He said Strauss "seems fine" but admitted "it is never easy when you are not playing".
"Sometimes a break from the game can be good mentally. You feel refreshed. If he gets a game on Sunday I have no doubt he will be able to perform," Vaughan added.
Vaughan's form in the last three matches has been patchy but he said he was not overly worried about the lack of runs.
"It would be nice to get a big score. I'm feeling relaxed. I'm disappointed that I've not gone on to a big score in the last three games but one or two of my dismissals have been unfortunate," he said.
Vaughan said if England were to bowl first they would have to set the tone by putting the Aussies under pressure and if they batted first, they will have to make big a score and defend it properly.
He also said he was not worried about the batting form of all-rounder Andrew Flintoff who missed out against the Sri Lanka after playing a loose, attacking shot early in his innings.