• India v England, 1st T20I, Pune

Morgan laments missed opportunity

ESPN staff
December 20, 2012
File photo: Eoin Morgan captained England in the absence of Stuart Broad © Getty Images

Eoin Morgan rued England's failure to capitalise on a bright start as they slumped to a five-wicket defeat to India in the opening Twenty20 international.

The tourists looked to be on course to set India a sizeable target when Alex Hales and Luke Wright took England to 89 for 1 at the halfway stage, but the runs dried up as they reached 157 for 5, leaving India to stroll to victory with 13 balls to spare.

"We got off to a great start," Morgan told Sky Sports. "Alex Hales played tremendously well along with Luke Wright but in that middle period we failed to kick on and score. That positivity wasn't there in our batting and we lacked about 15 or 20.

"We never seemed to get going again. We continually lost wickets, which is a shame because because the start we had, we were on for a good score. We always thought we were in the game. We lacked a small bit of discipline in our bowling but we were always up against it with that score on the board."

India captain MS Dhoni praised the efforts of his team after a marked improvement in the field. India's fielding, which was often shoddy during the Test series, improved considerably with Ajinkya Rahane claiming three out-field catches and Virat Kohli taking a superb, low, effort at long-on. With Suresh Raina also back in the team there was a far more athletic appearance to India and Dhoni did not have to shield so many slower movers.

The turning point of the match came in the 13th over when Yuvraj Singh, who had already removed Wright, bowled Hales for 56 off 35 balls and two deliveries later had Eoin Morgan, the England captain and leading Twenty20 batsman, caught at long-on. Yuvraj later added 38 off 21 balls which included picking off Danny Briggs' only over for 18.

"Yuvraj was brilliant. He bowled really well and at the right pace," Dhoni said. "I felt each and every bowler, apart from Yuvraj, bowled at least one bad over in the game. But I'm overall very happy with the performance. And the fielding, which I wanted the team to do well. I thought we did brilliantly.

"The pressure was on the bowlers," he added. "The way Hales started - he went after the bowlers - that was the difficult part. We all know it's a bit easier to score against the new ball on the sub-continent, particularly in India. It was important from the eighth over that we tried to bring the team back into the game."

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