England were subjected to one of their heaviest ever one-day defeats on Friday, as India cruised to victory by 158 runs in the first game of a seven-match series in Rajkot.
Headlining its coverage "Perfect Humiliation", the Daily Mail said: "Kevin Pietersen could do no wrong when he led England to victory in his first five matches as official captain.
"But he has been given a painful reminder of how tough life can be in the highest office after a chastening few weeks."
The Sun said Pietersen's winter was "lurching towards crisis proportions".
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The tabloid said England had been "blasted by a man wearing a corset," referring to Indian batsman Yuvraj Singh, who tore England apart with a not-out 138 runs despite wearing protection for a bad back.
The Times accused England of being "badly underprepared" for the India tour and said the tight schedule allowed little time for in-depth practice sessions to change tactics and put things right.
The paper said the England players appeared to be suffering a lingering depression from their defeat in the million-dollar-a-man Stanford match earlier this month.
"The Stanford legacy is scrambled minds," it concluded, warning that Pietersen's men had to act quickly "to restate their commitment on the field".