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Loking back at England's capitulation against spin in their World Twenty20 game against India in Colombo, Simon Hughes writes that England have got it wrong. There is plenty of talent and energy in the squad but in the batting there is not enough real quality. England have sacrificed skill for ingenuity and, while it might have come off in the Caribbean, in Sri Lanka the pitches – and the bowlers – will be a different matter entirely. More from The Telegraph.
What is the problem with England and spin? The problem is they are trying too hard. The word spin gives them neuroses and they focus too much mental and physical energy on countering it, instead of regarding spinners as just another bowler. They panic. They are in too much of a hurry, attempting premeditated and difficult shots before they have even got the measure of the bowler and the pitch. Playing spin requires subtlety not savagery.
Paul Newman in the Daily Mail tries to find reasons for England to be cheerful ahead of the second-stage games against the West Indies, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.
If Harbhajan can take four for 12, what can the mystery spinners awaiting England next do to them? Sunil Narine barely turned a ball when he made his Test debut against England this summer but he is a different proposition entirely in the short game, having made his name in the Indian Premier League. Expect him to be the West Indies’ main threat in Pallekele on Thursday.
There is no chance whatever of Kevin Pietersen being called up for this tournament, even if he had brought his cricket coffin, writes Stephen Brenkley in the Independent. But the poor quality of the batting performance made his continued absence stand out even more noticeably.