England skipper Eoin Morgan has warned his side that they must demonstrate major tournament-winning potential in their final one-day clash with India after slipping to a series-clinching loss.
The tourists lost by 15 runs in Cuttack as India surged into an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series, despite a majestic century from Morgan – his first in an international 50-over match since June 2015.
Although England posted their highest ever score batting second in a one-dayer, their chase proved insufficient after stunning hundreds from Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni had propelled India to 381-6 from their 50 overs.
England have a solitary 50-over match of this series remaining, in Kolkata on Sunday, and then eight in total against West Indies, Ireland and South Africa before the Champions Trophy starts in June.
Morgan has demanded his side show improvement and land a sizeable blow at the weekend against a side crowned World Cup winners in 2011 and Champions Trophy victors two years later. He said: “Having that experience of coming up against these guys in world competitions is a big test for us,” said Morgan.
“You have to produce close to your best to beat them when they’re at their best and we haven’t managed to do that. We have another chance to do that in Kolkata.
“Even though the series has gone, looking further ahead it’s still a good test for us to prepare for the Champions Trophy. The wickets aren’t turning square, it’s not typical India, it’s actually modern-day 50-over cricket. Finding a way to deal with that is a challenge.”
Similar to the first one-day international in Pune on Sunday, England failed to capitalise on early bowling joy after Chris Woakes snared three wickets, including the scalp of tormentor-in-chief Virat Kohli, to reduce India to 25-3.
But Yuvraj, India’s top scorer with 150, and former captain Dhoni, who amassed a slightly more modest 134, shared a match-defining stand of 256. Woakes finished with figures of 4-60.
As in Pune, England were not short of half-centurions as opener Jason Roy, Joe Root and Moeen Ali all weighed in, but despite those contributions and Morgan’s 102, England remain without a series win in India since 1984-85.
Morgan added: “We probably weren’t at our best with ball or bat but we still competed and it’s tremendously disappointing not to get over the line. Ultimately, India outplayed us again.”