England ready to bounce back
England will be looking to make up for a missed opportunity when they take on India in the third one-day international on Saturday.
Having defied expectations to win the series opener in Rajkot, the tourists slipped to a 127-run defeat in the follow-up at Kochi.
Yet the margin of that defeat tells a flattering tale for India, who were on the back foot for much of the first innings and only cut loose in the final 10 overs when an inspirational stand between captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja turned the game towards the hosts.
England responded well to that challenge and, with Kevin Pietersen looking fluent, reached 58 for one. However, a collapse ensued and nine wickets tumbled for 100 runs.
Assistant coach Richard Halsall admits there is frustration in the camp about the way the game drifted.
“It was a heavy defeat and they (the team) were disappointed that they didn’t deliver their skills,” he said.
"At one stage they were 119 for four, a great opportunity, and even when they made 285 we got to 60 for one after 10 overs and were thinking 'we are going to win this'.
"The disappointment is that we created two very good opportunities to win a game of cricket in India, which is very hard to do, and we didn't take them.
"We didn't hit some of the targets we would hope to, but we try and be as objective as possible and take the emotion out of it.
"India is a very emotional place (to play cricket), which is fantastic, but I think to move forward and provide some consistency we have to try and go back to what our fundamentals are.”
Halsall’s words underline a considered approach that has served England well in recent times.
One thing is certain: there will be no knee-jerk reaction to Tuesday’s loss.
“We’ve been very successful over the past two or three years as an ODI side; we’re the number one side in the world,” said Halsall.
“What we try and do is not respond to just one performance. Our preparation and how we review our games is built up over a significant period of time.”
The third match of the series takes place in Ranchi, hometown of India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
A terrific atmosphere can be anticipated and Halsall does not expect Dhoni to crack under the added pressure.
He explained: “I don’t think he (Dhoni) will feel it because the man does not seem to get unsettled.
“He just goes about his business. These boys thrive in the environment and it’s an amazing place to play cricket.
“International cricketers want to play in the first day of a Test at Lord’s, they want to play at the MCG in the Boxing Day Test, they want to play in World Cup finals or in front of 70,000 fans in Kerala.
“And they want to play in Ranchi in two days’ time because it will be absolutely jumping (for Dhoni). I don’t think it will affect MS in any way.”
Tim Bresnan missed the second ODI with bruising above the knee but is expected to return to full training tomorrow.
“We’re very hopeful that he’ll be ready for the next game,” Halsall added.