AND captain Stuart Broad leapt to the defence of his team after they were destroyed by India in yesterday’s World Twenty20 tie.
Broad’s men had already qualified for the Super Eight stage, yet their prospects of winning the tournament appear fragile after they failed to cope with India’s spin and were dismissed for just 80 runs in Colombo.
India won by a resounding 90 runs, having reached 170 for 4 in their innings.
Yet Broad remained upbeat about his side’s prospects. “I’ve seen the guys play spin extremely well, certainly in training,” Broad said after the game.
“We’ve been learning in Sri Lanka and we've developed well…We’ve had a really bad day but it doesn't affect our destiny.
“We played across the line a bit too much whereas against Afghanistan we struck the ball so straight and very cleanly… you learn from your mistakes, and we’ll certainly bear that in mind when we come across a wicket like that again.”
England brought in seam-bowler Tim Bresnan in place of spinner Samit Patel, while India fielded a spin-heavy attack. The Asian side’s tactic paid off, as Harbhajan Singh recorded a superb four wickets for just 12 runs, and fellow spin-bowler Piyush Chawla took two wickets for just 13 runs.
India’s innings had not been plain sailing, after Irfan Pathan was dismissed by Steven Finn for just eight runs.
Half way through their innings, India lost Virat Kohli to a clever ball from England’s own spin expert, Graham Swann, and appeared to be struggling on 81-2.
Yet Rohit Sharma scored a half century, ending on 55 not out and leading India to a strong total. Captain MS Dhoni, who only scored nine, nonetheless saw his side put out 51 runs in their final four overs of the match.
And once they got their hands on the ball, India were ruthless, taking advantage of the spin-friendly conditions.
Wicket-keeper batsman Craig Kieswetter did his best to hold the team together, yet Alex Hales, Luke Wright, Eoin Morgan and Jonny Bairstow were all dismissed for single figure scores.
Broad himself was dismissed by medium-fast Ashok Dinda as England were all out in just 14.4 overs.