Four years of planning will be put on the line for England when they face holders Australia in a blockbuster Cricket World Cup semi-final at Edgbaston on Thursday.
England’s woeful first-round exit at the 2015 edition prompted a complete rethink of their approach to one-day internationals for a side that had long placed Test success above all other considerations.
Australian coach Trevor Bayliss was drafted in with the aim of guiding their bid for a first World Cup title.
The transformation has been impressive, with England climbing to number one in the ODI rankings under the astute captaincy of Eoin Morgan.
Their rise to the summit has been based on dynamic run-scoring, with in-form openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow leading the way.
But the stakes for hosts England are higher than simply the winning of a match that would see them into a final against either India or New Zealand at Lord’s on Sunday.
Satellite subscription host broadcaster Sky has said it will allow the final to be shown on free-to-air television in Britain — but only if England are involved in the showpiece match.
They landed a psychological blow in the group stage when they beat Ashes rivals England by 64 runs at Lord’s last month.
Roy, however, was missing with a torn hamstring and since his return, England have scored crucial wins over India and New Zealand that took them into the semi-finals.