Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cricket: Captain Has a Go at Bowlers; Pietersen Angry as England Go 5-0 Down in Series

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cricket: Captain Has a Go at Bowlers; Pietersen Angry as England Go 5-0 Down in Series

Article excerpt

ENGLAND'S one-day series with India lurched towards another crisis last night after they were forced to call up two young bowlers as cover for injuries to Andrew Flintoff and Stuart Broad.

The tourists slumped 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 270-4 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. …

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