So, after an Andrew Flintoff inspired victory in their opening warm up game in India, England have proceeded to crash to a rather humiliating defeat against the might of a Mumbai President’s XI. Chasing 223 to win, Kevin Pietersen’s men were bowled out for 90. Oh dear, writes Thomas Rooney, exclusively for The Village Cricketer.

As mentioned, this was England’s second warm-up game as they prepare for seven One Day International’s against India, starting on Friday. Things were clearly destined not to go England’s way from the start as both Ryan Sidebottom and Stuart Broad were ruled out with injury. This meant that Steve Harmison, James Anderson and Andrew Flintoff were to be the three seamers leading the attack.

In all fairness, with their limitations, England didn’t bowl too badly and did well to restrict their opponents to 222-7 after the 50 overs. Harmison picked up two wickets and was probably the pick of the bowlers, with Samit Patel’s spin impressing also – he took two wickets as well. No matter what the opposition, I suppose when you restrict a team to fewer than 250 in today’s game, you haven’t performed too badly.

The negatives from the bowling performance were evident though. Matt Prior – who is still to convince a lot of people he is England’s best option with the gloves – dropped a routine chance off the bowling of Anderson early on. Then, having taken the sixth wicket when the score was on 166, perhaps it was annoying they managed to crawl past 200. Still, cricket betting would have favoured England to win the game.

Anyway, this was not to be the worst of problems – far from it. England’s batting was diabolical as they attempted to chase down a total that wasn’t exactly daunting. Unsurprisingly, it was poor shot selection that was their downfall, although accurate swing bowling also played its part as Pietersen and co were reduced to 50-8 at one stage before scrambling to 90 all out.

Obviously, this isn’t the ideal preparation for the upcoming matches against a confident India side. They shouldn’t let it affect them too much though; it has to be put to bed now. It’s gone. Onwards and upwards from here!

Speaking of the India tour, I have some amazing opinions to bring to your attention. Former England greats turned ‘expert pundits’ Graham Thorpe and Alec Stewart believe that the ODI’s and test matches against India will be…wait for it…. ‘tough’. Wow – really?

Apologies for the rather cynical stance taken here, but really – tell us something we don’t know. This is one of the hardest places to come in world cricket and considering India’s recent victory over Australia, it is going to be more difficult than ever. The cricket odds will definitely be favouring another set of home wins for India. Especially when you consider England’s recent batting performance.

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