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."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Viv on November 18, 2008, 4:45 GMT

    In response to "PottedLambShanks" -

    Indians dont care Test Cricket ??? I think India is the only side who have been defeating or at least competing Australis in test matches over the last decade or so. Other teams dont look anywhere near...

    As far as England is concerned - they don't even look solid on papers - doesnt matter which Order you play the batsmen in. If a guy has potential and confidence to perform - he can at any batting order. So let us no make a huge issue of England not getting their batting orders right - its just they are under-prepared and not ready to take the huge challenges against teams like India - which have such a balanced and confident attack - be it ODI or Tests.

    Indian Team does look like the next Cricket Champion - and eveybody can sense that...

  • Krishna on November 16, 2008, 9:36 GMT

    I agree with the flashkid: why isnt monty playing? He bowled england to a series win against New Zealand and has relatively more experience than Samit Patel.

  • Madhavan on November 16, 2008, 8:35 GMT

    I guess the English don't watch much cricket. How funny? We had just beaten the aussies 2-0 comfortably a week back in the tests. English team is nothing compared to aussies. God bless em for the upcoming tests followed by the ODIs.

  • Raunak on November 16, 2008, 4:33 GMT

    Some people are ignorant enough to forget history so soon.They forget how India faired in england in the last test series.And some people do not even go through the rankings.For their enlightment,India is now ranked two in world test ICC ranking.Is ignorance the bliss of a not so young country?

  • Simran on November 16, 2008, 3:24 GMT

    To PottedLambShanks, I seem to forgot who India just beat in their last test series?, oh yeah! Australia 2-0,the so called best team in the world currently. Also, India seem to be the only team in the last decade to consistently rise to challenge against AUS. ENG will have their shot in the ashes, and after the ODIs vs IND. Lets see how ENG rises to the occasion. I think England is sippin the ODI koolaid more than IND recently as your thrashing of SA in the ODIs seems to be all the commentators can talk about, as there hasn't really been bright any bright spots since. The test series vs SA speaks for itself.

    As an indian fan living abroad I care about all 3 forms test, ODI, and 20/20. I enjoy watching all 3, and don't get why people are so divided. Tests are here to stay, so are ODIs, and 20/20. Modi of the IPL is not the anti-christ, and the poor test match attendance during the last test at Nagpur vs Aus was due to tickets been should as 5 day passes only, with NO singles.

  • Abhirukt on November 16, 2008, 3:17 GMT

    This is another example of English sports teams not realising how bad they actually are. With the exception of Bangladesh, and possibly the West Indies, England are probably the worst test playing nation. Sure, theyve had a few good series wins- and congratulations for that- but that does not make them a good side. England are a bit like Australia ad India at the moment- in transition- but unlike the Indians do not have the young guns with talent to really deliver, and unlike the Aussies do not have the potential. And in response to 'PottedLambShanks'- India just not only beat, but hammered, Australia in a test series. Yes, England won the ashes, but they actually had some form and quality then.

  • Samuel on November 15, 2008, 21:52 GMT

    Pretty funny how much the Indians care about ODIs. In England, we understand that tests prove who are the best and that is something Indians just seem unable to understand them, bless 'em. India is a young country though, plenty of time to learn.

  • Gwern on November 15, 2008, 8:40 GMT

    Here is my England One Day X1:Bell, Flintoff, Pietersen, Collingwood, Shah, Bopara, Prior, Broad, Harmison, Jones, Panesar, 1. Flintoff can utilise his power against the hard new ball early on, while Bell rotates the strike. 2. Pietersen, the best batsman, always bats at number 3. 3. Strong middle order, which are good against spinners. 4. A deep batting line-up with Broad at 8. 5. Panesar is the best spinner and the best spinner should always play in India no matter how bad is his batting and fielding. I think this team is balanced and most suited to indian conditions.

  • siva on November 15, 2008, 8:03 GMT

    The last ODI series in England was a tight one. Why arent England playing Monty? And that hitter - Mascarenhas

  • SANJEEV on November 15, 2008, 7:55 GMT

    Hi Cricinfo fans I am Danusanju from Sri Lanka.England need to reshuffle their batting line up then only they can win matches.I think they are wasting Collingwood by sending him at No.6.He is such a busy middle order batsman as well as a true match winner.Flintof is more suitable at No.6 only.But when the asking rate is high or need to put a big score on the board he can be promoted at the top of the order.I strongly believe in the right batting order.If the batting order is right then can win matches.K.P Should be at No.3,Collingwood shoud be at No.4,Shah at No.5,Flintof at No.6.One more thing England need to change their openers.I feel with Bell some one like Bopara should be asked to open the innings.I feel No.8 is not a idel spot for Bopara.Why not Patel also can be a good opener.He has a good first class record.He is capable of turning the things with his attacking bat.I see prior a good finisher not a opener.bye.I am a big fan of Sehwaq.

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