British press sees huge task for KP after England slump

Published: Saturday, November 15, 2008, 10:46 [IST]
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London: The British press predicted on Saturday that England captain Kevin Pietersen faced a daunting task to lift his demoralised side after their crushing one-day defeat to India.

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".


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