India v England, 5th ODI, Kolkata October 25, 2011

Back to the drawing board - Flower

ESPNcricinfo staff

Andy Flower, the England team director, has said England will have to go "back to the drawing board" to figure out how to play one-day cricket in the subcontinent after they slumped to a 0-5 series defeat in India. Flower said he thought England were better prepared for this series than they were when they were beaten by the same scoreline in 2008 but had been proved wrong by the results.

"This is a bad setback for us and we have to go back to the drawing board in terms of playing one-day international cricket in the sub-continent," he said. "We need time to reflect. I thought we'd learnt lessons from three years ago and put in place training drills which would equip our batsmen to deal better with the conditions out here, but I'm obviously wrong in that regard."

England ended the series in dismal fashion, losing their whole side for 47 in a dramatic collapse, after they were 129 for 0 chasing 272 at Eden Gardens. Alastair Cook, the England captain, said good starts and poor finishes had been a common theme of England's performances through the series.

"We set up the game beautifully to go on and win, but they bowled well and we played a couple of poor shots. It was a bit of a disappointing end and a bit of a common theme," Cook said after the match in Kolkata. "We were in with a shout at 120-odd for nought and just got blown away at the end. It was very disappointing. We know you can lose wickets in clusters and we seem to have lost 10 there in a cluster."

While India's spinners sparked England's collapse, the victory had been set up by a fierce late onslaught from India's captain MS Dhoni, who finished on 75 not out off 69 balls. Dhoni scored 212 runs in the series without being dismissed. He said he always focused on staying unbeaten till the end of an innings because then you could sum up which bowlers to go after.

"I always want to stay to the end and whatever is in my area I look to hit it over the boundary," he said. "It's important to see which bowlers are left and who you can target. After that it's about who can bear the pressure well."

"It was an ugly looking wicket and any ball could swing or keep low," Dhoni said of the Eden Gardens pitch. "It was very difficult to score on so we were fortunate to score 270 when 240 or 245 was in our minds. Then we just had to wait for the wicket to spin."

Cook praised Dhoni's innings but said he thought India's total was gettable. "Credit to MS; at the end he hits it very well, he's a very hard person to bowl at and he single-handedly got them up to 270, which was probably gettable the way we started. But when you lose 10 for 50 you're not going to win anything," he said.

Both Cook and Flower, though, insisted there were positives to take out of the series despite the emphatic scoreline. "Only four of us have played one-day series out here and it's great for the youngsters to get the experience," Cook said. "It will show where they need to improve and we all need to improve as a side. We got thoroughly beaten out here but there are quite a few positives; I thought Steven Finn [who took eight wickets over the five games] throughout the series has been excellent."

Flower said the bowling department had shown promise but unfortunately the batsmen had not been able to handle playing spin and had left the bowlers with too much to do. "Our skills weren't good enough and our handling of the pressure wasn't good enough," he said. "We obviously haven't got the players into a good enough state to deal with the challenges of playing spin, judging length and moving feet.

"I think our bowling side has shown glimpses of skill and if there'd been reasonable totals on the board they would have been better at defending them. But unfortunately the bowlers have had to bowl to very attacking fields all the time because that was the only way to win because of our under-par totals."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Martin on October 28, 2011, 20:47 GMT

    @Gerard Pereira - what a nasty little hissy fit. So much for your idea of "balanced views". Nobody cares about 2007 anymore. It's history. History didn't help india in 2011. Just because Kumble got a ton - it doesn't mean that india are somehow "permanently better" than England. Maybe you haven't noticed - but England are not the "laughing stock of world cricket" anymore. Even though it had nothing to do with india, people said that England were the "laughing stock of world cricket" when Australia whitewashed us in Tests 2006/7. Now, in 2011 in Tests - England have whitewashed india........

  • MS on October 28, 2011, 16:08 GMT

    Eng team lost kolkata match like chokers ..after all the Eng team is made up of South african players !! Also i remember some players like Neil fairbrother, trescothick etc they all used to leave in between the series played outside Eng due to fear

  • Dummy4 on October 28, 2011, 15:26 GMT

    haha..seems like andy might join england xI...

  • DINESH on October 28, 2011, 13:35 GMT


  • Dummy4 on October 28, 2011, 13:28 GMT

    @5wombats Well of course Its clearly visible that you are an die hard FAN of English team. Whats your opinion and review about the eng - ind ODI series held in India? What went wrong with the english players? Also I becoming of fan(saying it from heart) of you. Though i dont like england players for their rude behaviors i like collingwood and strauss for their talent. If you have any twitter link pls share it so that we will follow you.

  • Dummy4 on October 28, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    5wombats: Re the Australians facts do not lie 21 Matches 9-6 to India. A healthy respect between the protagonists playing in those series. Warne , Mcgrath, Waugh, Lee Tendulkar Dravid, Laxman Shewag Etc, great names .This was the time England getting rolled over 5-0 was the norm. Even in the 2007 series against England a tail ender like Kumble got a ton. The Poms were the laughing stock of world cricket. All of a sudden England win a series against an Australian side in the process of rebuilding and an injury ravaged Indian side on doctored pitches using the swinging Duke Ball and these guys are being hailed as the best team in the world. I just witnessed Trott and Bell groping around like a novices on a turning pitch. The same two guys were getting double centuries two months ago. The so called number one bowler Swan destroyed by Indian kids like Kholi. Bresnan who was unplayable in England treated like a club bowler.

  • Valavan on October 28, 2011, 9:22 GMT

    @DINESHCC, PLEASE PUT OFF CAPS. None want to read your abject comments. OZ and WI were invincibles between 1977 - 2008, around 17 years for windies and 14 years for Aussies. Accept first India is not in the same league, they are still low than these achievements. ODI WC win belongs to India, T20 WC win belongs to England, didnt it right, but that doesn't mean India or England are genuine champion team. OK. Once for all. cricinfo please publish.

  • Martin on October 28, 2011, 9:13 GMT

    @jaykdane81 - so, that's your defence is it? Your "excuse" for indias very poor performance in the Test Matches in the Summer in England is that Australia used to beat England - so indias poor performance in 2011 doesn't count? I won't reply to any further goading from you.

  • Jachin on October 28, 2011, 1:37 GMT

    Ha, @5wombats.... So you think Test Cricket is the pinnacle... So why only three Ashes wins in over two decades (two of them at home)... and what about the 51 all out against the West Indies... For decades the Brits have been whipping boys for every team - and that in TEST Cricket... Do you remember Shane Warne destroying you in Adelaide, in TEST Cricket.... Just because you've got a fine Zimbabwean coach and a few talented South Africans/Indians in your side doesn't mean that this run will last forever...

  • Martin on October 27, 2011, 19:51 GMT

    @Neelesh Singhal;"I dont know how england won against India earlier this summer". England won because india did not respect Test cricket - just as you are not doing now. If you don't respect Test cricket - then you dont deserve any respect.

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