Lyon turns heat on England ahead of Thursday's semi-final

Australian spinner Nathan Lyon has turned the heat on England, declaring the pressure is all on the host nation when the two countries clash in a blockbuster World Cup semi-final on Thursday.

Australia may be the defending champions but England were the pre-tournament favourites as they boast a formidable - but still questionable - batting line-up when conditions suit their style.

Asked if the England batting line-up contained a bunch of bully boys who only thrived in favourable conditions, Lyon replied: "I am not sure about that. I think they are full of world-class players, they've been the No.1 team now for a couple of years. They should be going into this World Cup as favourites," he said.

"It's all on them. It's their World Cup to lose, if you ask me. We have nothing to lose, we only have stuff to gain. That is the exciting thing about it - we are going to go out there, we are going to compete.

"I feel like there is a very special thing just around the corner for us, Australian cricketers, and the whole Australian public, to be honest.

"I think our momentum, even though it got halted a little bit, I think we will train our backsides off, we will prepare well, we will be elite professionalism and make sure come Thursday we are firing."