England have mental edge over World Twenty20 semi-final opponents New Zealand, insists Stokes

 
Ross McLean
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ICC World Twenty20 India 2016:  England v Sri Lanka
Stokes made crucial contributions as England beat Sri Lanka to guarantee a World T20 semi-final spot (Source: Getty)

All-rounder Ben Stokes insists England have a “mental advantage” over semi-final opponents New Zealand as the two nations prepare to do battle for a place in World Twenty20 final on Wednesday.

England have already won two Super 10 matches at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi, against Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, on a pitch which has tended to be difficult to initially fathom.

Combined with England’s pre-tournament warm-up victory over the Black Caps, Stokes believes his side will have the edge over New Zealand, who are unbeaten so far in the competition.

“We know the conditions more than New Zealand will,” said Stokes. “Probably we do have a slight mental advantage over them.

“We beat them in the warm-up game and we beat them in the summer as well. But we’re not going to take too much from two games.

“We’re not going to be going into this game thinking we’ve won it already, because we know New Zealand are the form team and they’re hard to beat, especially in this format at the moment.”

England have won their last three matches at the tournament after losing their opening clash against the West Indies before chasing down 230 to beat South Africa in Mumbai.

“The way we bounced back from the first three innings of our tournament, ever since then we’ve come on leaps and bounds,” added Stokes.

“That just proves the character that we’ve got, the never-say-die attitude. I think that comes from youth as well.”