England cricketer Joe Root playing a shot
England cricketer Joe Root playing a shot

Birmingham: Joe Root believes England have done their homework and are ready to take on Australia's pace battery, led by Mitchell Starc in the second semi-final in the ongoing World Cup to be played at Edgbaston on Thursday.

Starc has been on a roll in the ongoing tournament and has so far taken 26 wickets in nine matches he has played. Pat Cummins and Jason Behrendorff have also contributed to the team's success, picking up 13 and nine wickets respectively.

In the league match, Australia had comfortably defeated England by 64 runs at the Lord's on June 25. Chasing 286, none of the English batsmen could score big and the team was eventually bundled out for 221. In that match, Starc and Behrendorff had taken four and five wickets respectively and broke the backbone of the England batting line-up.

In the semi-finals, the two will once again hold the edge for the Aussies, but Root feels that the hosts are up for the challenge.

"They bowled extremely well with the new ball (in the previous encounters) and those early wickets basically dictated the way the game went. It is about understanding that will be the main threat early on, that ball swinging and if we can combat that and make a good start then we give ourselves a better chance.

"It is something that seems to have been very effective throughout the tournament, that left-arm angle and throughout one day cricket for a while now and they have exploited that nicely. But we have also seen that we can score quite nicely if they don't get it right. Trying to be very objective about it, and clear on how you approach it will be very important.

"The guys have faced a lot of left arm stuff over their careers and in build up to last game. There will be a lot talked about it and with that comes pressure for them as well to deliver. It works both ways," he added.

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