India v England, 1st ODI, Rajkot November 14, 2008

Pietersen refuses to panic

Cricinfo staff


Kevin Pietersen struck a bright 63, but the game was already long gone for England © Getty Images
 
As Kevin Pietersen was skipping through his early matches as England captain, spreading the love wherever he went, there was a gentle warning - wait until you get to India. After a 158-run defeat in the opening one-day international, as England conceded their highest total, he has been left in no doubt about the task ahead for his team.

The only part of the day that went England's way was the toss, but Pietersen's hope that there would be early movement for the quick bowlers vanished as quickly as the ball to the boundary. He was soon on the retreat, but was helpless against Yuvraj Singh's breathtaking assault during the fastest century England have conceded in ODIs.

"If you stand and watch an innings like Yuvraj played and Sehwag you have just got to take your hat off to the way they played," Pietersen said. "It was an amazing batting pitch. You just need to touch it and it goes for four... and a bit harder and it goes for six. You've got to say well done, they played super cricket today."

Pietersen refused to switch into panic mode after one match, but with just three days until the next game in Indore there is little time to turn the performance around. "We'll sit down and see where we made a few mistakes," he said. "You've got to try to make sure you go over what you've done not so well and regroup. There's six games left in the series and we want to bring some real good cricket to Indore."

England opted for a single frontline spinner, Samit Patel, and planned to target India with their fast-bowling quartet. It was a format that worked impressively against South Africa, but conditions in Rajkot were a world away from late-season England and the extra pace of Andrew Flintoff and Steve Harmison played into India's hands.

However, Peter Moores said he thought the attack could have hit the visitors harder. "Our bowlers didn't bowl consistently all the way through. They could have been more aggressive with the ball," he said. "We have got some quick bowlers who are tall and generate enough bounce. We thought the wicket would do a little bit early on but actually you never know it for sure."

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