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~~England team will remain One-day donkeys~~

Published: Friday, April 7, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
 
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London:Adjectives like ''One-day donkeys'', were liberally used as the English media did a post-mortem of their team's performance which gave India a winning 4-0 lead in the seven-match ODI series after yesterday's loss in Kochi.

''England will remain closer to One-day donkeys than thoroughbreds until they stop relying so heavily on Kevin Pietersen,'' opined The Mirror, an observation echoed by almost all journals.

The newspaper pointed out that Pietersen top-scored in 10 of his 20 innings for England in limited-overs internationals and added, ''(It is) an exceptional record which means too many of his teammates are not pulling their weight.'' It also made a passing reference to the harsh weather particularly ''the 100 degree heat and 90 per cent humidity.'' For Telegraph, the worst is yet to come as it warns of the '90s redux -- the bad old days of the English cricket.

''This Indian misadventure is shaping up as the worst yet for England. The mood is reminiscent of the bad old days of the 90s -- the era when gleeful Australians used to crow: 'Look at those Poms, they just can't seem to take a trick,'' it said and added, ''The Aussies must be looking on again this week, half amused and half bemused that the Ashes winners should have gone to pieces so spectacularly.''

The Times, meanwhile, observed that England consistently failed to capitalise on a strong start with the bat and then allow a pair of India's young middle-order players to rebuild their own innings from vulnerable positions.

''With England's senior players tired and the next tier falling short, the margin of victory may yet become greater still,'' it warned.

The Independent was less scathing and attributed the lacklustre performances to a ''horrendous'' injury list.

''Winning a One-day series in India is a difficult task with a full-strength team, so it is wrong to condemn an England side missing five influential players,'' it said but pointed out that those who benefited from the injuries failed to make the most of an opportunity.

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