A chastened England will resume their faltering defence of the World Twenty20 later this week desperate to find a way to tackle spin after crashing to their biggest loss in T20 cricket.
India’s spinners sent Stuart Broad’s men packing for just 80 in Sunday’s group A match in Colombo, a defeat of 90 runs. It was England’s lowest total in the shortest format and their heaviest defeat.
Luckily for England, the capitulation came in a match of no consequence since both teams had qualified for the Super Eights stage after knocking minnows Afghanistan out.
“Any international defeat is really frustrating, especially when you put in a performance like that,” Broad said. “But it does not change our destiny… Knowing that it does not change anything really – apart from us having to maybe face a few more spinners in the nets – is nice.”
Broad also brushed aside suggestions that the team missed their best player of spin bowling – axed batsman Kevin Pietersen, who is in Colombo but only as a studio expert for the host broadcaster.
“We’ve got these 15 guys here, and we’ve known that all along,” the England captain said. “We did not perform well with the bat, but we did in the last three or four games. It’s important we focus on what we did well in those games and learn from what we did wrong against India.”
England will travel to Pallekele for the Super Eights round starting on Thursday, where they are grouped with hosts Sri Lanka, New Zealand and either Ireland or the West Indies.
The collapse also does not bode well for England beyond Sri Lanka – they begin a four-test series in India next month.
Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, whose team endured a 4-0 test series defeat in England last year on seaming wickets, sympathised.
“It is something that is a bit new and different to them,” he said. “In the sub-continent when the wickets start turning, you have to be really careful when playing drives.
“But they are a very good side that has done really well in the last year. So you will see them adapt to conditions.”