Problems mount for England

India England
Virender Sehwag

Virender Sehwag gets the hosts off to another great start in the fifth one-dayer

England's one-day series with India went from bad to worse after they were forced to call up two young bowlers as cover for injuries to Andrew Flintoff and Stuart Broad.

The tourists fell to their fifth successive defeat in the seven-match series with India storming to a six-wicket victory with 6.2 overs to spare to leave England facing a series whitewash.

And they also revealed problems off the pitch with Broad unable to complete his ninth over because of a left hamstring strain and all-rounder Flintoff turning his left ankle for the second successive match, although it is not believed to be the same area where he has had four operations.

It has prompted England to call up Lancashire seamer Sajid Mahmood and uncapped Kent seamer Amjad Khan, who are both based with the performance programme squad in Bangalore, to act as cover for Saturday's sixth match in the series at Guwahati.

Captain Kevin Pietersen also hurt his right side, but insisted he would play in England's next match as they attempt to prevent India completing a sixth successive triumph.

"Injuries are a big concern because I'm suffering, Freddie is suffering and Broady is suffering but I'll be fine and I'll play," said Pietersen, who hit an unbeaten 111 to help England reach 270 for four only for India to cruise to another win.

"There are a few niggles knocking about but I don't really want to talk about the niggles - it's time for us to stand up and be counted."

Virender Sehwag hit a stunning 91 off 73 balls and forged a 136-run partnership with Sachin Tendulkar spanning 20 overs that effectively settled the issue, and Pietersen admitted: "I just don't think we bowled well enough in the first 20 overs.

"We bowled too short and wide and didn't hit the deck as hard as we should have and it's quite difficult to set fields when you've got superb players like Sehwag and Tendulkar on form - as a captain it's pretty difficult work."

Andrew Flintoff

Andrew Flintoff is suffering with his left ankle again and will be receiving treatment before Guwahati

He added: "I was pretty angry this evening, probably the first time I've been really angry, but I can't fault anyone for the efforts that they've put in on this trip.

"The boys are working and training so hard and the effort they're putting in is huge. I've been around for four or five years now and when you're going badly you sometimes have the cliques evolving and the guys going off on their own, but this lot are so together.

"They really are such a tight unit and it's just unfortunate we're getting beaten by a better side. They are playing such good cricket, playing with no fear and such confidence and we're going to have do something special."

But, asked how England can stop India, Pietersen admitted: "I don't know - hopefully they won't turn up in Guwahati.

"We've just got to keep doing what we do. The guys are together, there is no split in the dressing room and that's one of the positives. We've just got to keep going."

Prolific India spinner Harbhajan Singh admitted India had set their sights on winning the series 7-0 - and claimed England handed them the game by only scoring 74 runs in their last 10 overs.

"It would be nice for us to win the series 7-0 but you can't predict results," he said. "The kind of cricket we're playing I'm sure we're capable of winning 7-0.

"They had a great start and we all thought they would get 300-plus runs but I think Kevin Pietersen was a bit nervous in the nineties and took a bit of time getting to his hundred.

"They only got 74 runs in the last 10 overs and they had six wickets in hand. We feared they would get a lot more runs so we were very happy with the way they batted in those last 10 overs and it set up the game for us."

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