England get stick for sweeping at Kotla
England cricketers on Wednesday came in for severe criticism in the British media for their "kamikaze" batting and tame defeat to India in the first one-dayer in New Delhi.
"Ill-judged sweeping by England helps India to clean up" screamed the headline in The Guardian while The Daily Telegraph said "Kamikaze England plummet to defeat."
Describing them as "Nut Crackers", the largely circulated tabloid The Sun said: "England Chuck It Away In The First One-Dayer".
The Daily Telegraph said Andrew Flintoff will need all his inspirational powers to lift his team-mates for the second match after Tuesday's debacle described as "an astonishing collapse that must rate as one of the worst in a long line of England one-day horrors.
"Few teams do kamikaze as well as England when the mood is upon them. Yesterday was a lesson in how to lose a game when the opposition had all but given up hope. At 117 for three, with just 87 runs needed from fully 30 overs, the match was sewn up as tight as Shane Warne's new hairdo.
"Kevin Pietersen started the rot when he aimed a slog-sweep at Yuvraj Singh's part-time left-arm spin and holed out at deep midwicket. But it was the next three dismissals, unfolding with horrible inexorability, that halted England's innings as surely as an iceberg ripping open an ocean liner."
"To throw away a 1-0 lead in a seven-match series by playing the shot that in recent months has dared not speak its name might have made even Duncan Fletcher wonder about its merit.
"The main beneficiary was Harbhajan Singh. He will probably bowl better than he did in claiming a career-best five for 31 but it is doubtful whether 50,000 fans can scream any louder."
The Times writer Richard Hobson noted that the cause of the collapse was as reckless as it was familiar with five batsmen succumbing either to the slog sweep or shaping to play the stroke. India could barely believe their luck."