Eoin Morgan’s side have come up significantly short against both co-hosts but remain on course for a quarter-final place after a comfortable win over Scotland.
Similar results against Afghanistan and Bangladesh could secure qualification from Pool A regardless of how they do against Sri Lanka at Wellington’s ‘Cake Tin’, where they were taken apart by Tim Southee and Brendon McCullum last weekend.
But with top-ranked sides lying in wait further down the line, the significance of showing up against a ‘big hitter’ is not lost on seamer Chris Woakes.
He said: “Sunday is a big game, having already lost two in the tournament already. It??is important that we do beat the big sides. Sri Lanka are a good side so we know we have to be on our game.
“It is a big opportunity for us, and we’re looking to win it. We’ll be looking??to show how good we can be.”
England have a point to prove to the Wellington public, who were short-changed in terms of overs – if not action – during that one-sided contest with the Kiwis.
“The last time we were there it didn’t exactly go to plan,” Woakes said. “It’s hard to read too much into that game – we were pretty poor. We’re past that now.
“We can put that behind us. It will be good to get back there and show people??what we can do. It will be a good opportunity to put that completely behind??us.”
Woakes was the only England bowler to avoid a hammering against New Zealand, taking both wickets to fall for the loss of just eight runs.
“I feel in good rhythm,” he said. “Since arriving in Australia (and New Zealand) I’ve hit??my straps pretty well and executed plans reasonably well. I’ve had an off day here or there, but you have those every now and then.
“In general I feel pretty good and in good confidence ahead of the Sri Lanka??game. I feel like I’m in a good place.”