Mark Wood on Cricket World Cup, Liam Plunkett & Northumberland's beaches

Mark Wood

You can talk of pressure or nerves, but it's actually a great feeling knowing that a win against New Zealand on Wednesday on my home ground will put us into the World Cup semi-finals.

Although it's a group game, it's effectively a quarter-final and if we allow ourselves to dream big, we are three games from lifting the trophy.

It's a different feeling to a week ago, when I was pretty flat after we lost to Australia.

Here, I'll tell you how I got over that loss, how a team meeting got us on track to beat India and why I've been writing a song for the Barmy Army.

Life's a beach

This England team has not been used to losing one-day matches, so to lose two back-to-back, against Sri Lanka and Australia, hurt.

Throughout the World Cup, I've been keeping tabs on the rest of the teams. Watching a bit of a match, checking scores, seeing what's been happening.

After we lost to Australia at Lord's, I did none of that. I didn't want to think about cricket.

I often consider how the opposition have played. On that occasion, I had to give credit to Australia, because they bowled very, very well.

We were a bit unlucky with the ball and later did a good job of pegging them back, but what they did was better. They deserved to win.

In the few days that we had off, I came home to the north east. In general, I love getting outside into the countryside or, as I did on this occasion, going to the beach in Northumberland with my wife.

Now, you could think that I should have been resting with my feet up, but she had me playing bat and ball.

You know the type - the wooden bats that look like tennis racquets, where you have to keep the ball up because it dies if it hits the sand.

The most we got up to was 50, which was a decent effort, but not even close to the 449 I managed with strength and conditioning coach Phil Scott in Barbados earlier this year.

Team meeting spurs India win

When we met up at Edgbaston before the India game, we had a squad meeting led by David Young, the team psychologist.

The honest chat that we had got things back on track and felt like a weight had been lifted off our shoulders.

We have spoken with each other like that in the past. We did something similar at a training camp in Wales at the beginning of the summer.

We talk about expressing ourselves, enjoying each other's successes, being brave, playing smart cricket and always taking the positive option.

I'm not saying we didn't do those things in the losses to Sri Lanka and Australia, but it was nice to revisit the values that have made us such a successful team.

England celebrate against India
England responded to two successive defeats by beating India at Edgbaston

Not only that, but it's such a positive to be able to be open with each other. I'm not sure that every team has the benefit of such honesty.

We broke off into small groups and talked about the way we were feeling about the World Cup, the ways that it is different and how it can make you feel nervous.

It was good to hear that some of the senior, experienced players are going through the same things, because sometimes you can look at someone and think he is bulletproof or impervious to the emotions we all have.

And that is the bottom line about this team; we're all good friends. There is no bluster, but a realism about who we are and what we are trying to achieve. We are all in the same situation of being desperate to win the World Cup for England.

Refreshed, we went into the India game, which their fans made feel like stepping into the lion's den. They made so much noise, the atmosphere was like an IPL match.

To come through that match, not only against a strong team, but such a partisan crowd, was a real positive for us. It will stand us in good stead if we play them again later in the tournament.

However, we didn't celebrate any more than the previous games, because we know there are still big obstacles to overcome.

Writing songs for the Barmy Army

After that game against India at Edgbaston, I noticed on Instagram that the Barmy Army weren't happy with their song for my mate Pudsey, Liam Plunkett.

So, to the tune of Gina G's Ohh Ah, Just A Little Bit, I've written one for them. I tried to get Pudsey to sing it, but he was having none of it.

Therefore, I'm on vocals and he's dancing in the background. Check it out...

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Mark Wood sings Liam Plunkett song

Not only am I pleased with my songwriting, but I'm excited to be back at the home of cricket, Chester-le-Street, for the game against New Zealand.

I'll be honest, it's a game I've had my eye on since the beginning of the tournament, albeit I had hoped we might have qualified by now.

Both myself and Ben Stokes have been trying to get as many tickets as we can, because we've had so many requests. I think half of the town of Ashington are going to be there on Wednesday.

I'll be excited and a little bit nervous, but I'll hopefully use that little bit of extra adrenaline to do well.

For me, it doesn't get any better. To play for England in a must-win World Cup game in front of my wife, family and friends will be pretty special.

Mark Wood was speaking to BBC Sport's Stephan Shemilt.

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