England Didn't Do Ourselves Any Favours Against India, Says Eoin Morgan

India Cricket Fans

For India some sort of order was restored. The England captain Eoin Morgan and his men could produce no miracles and India won the first of the two Twenty20 matches, bizarrely scheduled at the end of this tour, by five wickets with 13 balls to spare.

In this format of the game, that is an emphatic victory and it gives MS Dhoni and a few of his fellow senior citizens a little breathing space after a tempestuous few weeks. Among them is Yuvraj Singh, who was the obvious man of the match in Pune after taking three for 19 from his four overs and striking 38 from 21 balls in India's leisurely run-chase.

For England Alex Hales, with 56 from 35 balls, prospered at the start of the innings – the tourists were 89 for one after 10 overs – and so did Jos Buttler at the end. But in between the middle-order faltered badly against the wily Yuvraj.

It fell to Morgan, left with a motley crew of youngsters to captain after the departure of so many senior players, to mull over this defeat. "We had a fantastic start from Alex [Hales] and Luke [Wright – 34 from 21 balls] but from there we didn't kick on and we didn't do ourselves any favours. We were 10 to 15 runs short of par. Maybe we were a bit naive and then we lacked a bit of discipline with the ball." There were 10 wides in the India innings, three of which were delivered in Jade Dernbach's first over.

There were also some encouraging performances from one or two of the younger players. Buttler hit 33 and for the first time – for England – he was entrusted with the wicketkeeping gloves. Morgan was impressed by his batting, if not surprised.

"We've all seen him [Buttler] in the nets and he's a fantastic striker of the ball and he plays the ramp shot better than any of us," said Morgan. The last time England played a T20 match during the World Cup Bairstow had the gloves so it was a surprise that he was relieved of that duty. It was even more surprising that he was not included in the team for his batting having traipsed around India for two months, playing the solitary Test in Mumbai.

Morgan explained the thinking behind Bairstow's omission. "We decided we wanted to play five frontline bowlers rather than the extra batsman. The stats suggest whoever bats at seven in a T20 match faces seven balls on average. We felt that was the right decision."

Morgan was one of four batsmen to be caught at either long-on or long-off, and he admitted afterwards they had perhaps got a little too greedy too soon in trying to clear the ropes. "A small bit, but if I had knocked it over his head it would have been a great shot – and things would have kicked on from there," he said. "That's the way I play and it's the way I'll continue to play."

It may be that they take a different view on Bairstow when England embark on the final match of their tour. He may replace Michael Lumb, who had a match he would rather forget in Pune. That game will take place in front of a capacity crowd at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Vic Marks in Pune, for The Guardian on Thursday 20th December 2012 20.26 Europe/London

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