Head Coach Trevor Bayliss believes qualifying for the World Twenty20 semi-finals the hard way will benefit England in the rest of the tournament and beyond.
Eoin Morgan‘s men have been under intense pressure since losing their opener to Chris Gayle-inspired West Indies and head into their last-four clash with New Zealand battle-hardened by three see-saw matches.
England produced a tournament record run-chase to beat South Africa and recovered from a major wobble against Afghanistan before progressing from Group 1 with a nail-biting 10-run victory over Sri Lanka.
It does not get any easier for England with New Zealand ready to put their 100 per cent record on the line in the semi-finals.
But Bayliss is confident England are mentally ready for the challenge ahead.
He said: “We’ve been under pressure in a couple of the wins we’ve had. It does a fair bit for us I think.
“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.”
Saturday’s win over Sri Lanka in Delhi sparked talk of England replicating their 2010 World T20 success – when they lost their opening match to West Indies on their way to lifting the trophy – but Bayliss refused to look beyond the New Zealand match.
“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, something Bayliss is keen to change against the Black Caps.
“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,” he added.
“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.”