England collapse in India to lose opening one-dayer
|First one-day international, Hyderabad:|
|India 300-7 (50 overs) beat England 174 (36.1 overs) by 126 runs|
England suffered a middle-order collapse on their way to a 126-run defeat against India in Hyderabad.
Chasing 301, captain Alastair Cook scored 60 but his dismissal sparked a flurry of wickets as England slid from 111-2 to 174 all out.
India's spinners did the bulk of the damage as Ravichandran Ashwin (3-35) and Ravindra Jadeja (3-34) starred.
MS Dhoni's unbeaten 87 and Suresh Raina's 61 had helped India recover from 123-4 to post a daunting total.
Following their 3-0 limited-overs home series win over India in the summer, England opted for an attack-minded batting selection. They omitted Ian Bell from their side as Jonny Bairstow and Ravi Bopara were included - and both failed to make an impact.
Their batting had coped well against the seamers but they found themselves under pressure against the spinners, failing to read the pace of the pitch and struggling to rotate the strike.
After the early loss of Craig Kieswetter to an injudicious fence outside off stump and Kevin Pietersen for 19 to a run out, Cook and Jonathan Trott set about the task of building a platform as England put on 71 runs for the third wicket from 40-2.
But Cook's subsequent departure was the first of four wickets to fall for 15 runs in 4.1 overs, as Trott, Bopara and Bairstow all quickly followed, the pivotal wickets all falling to Jadeja and Ashwin.
Cook and Trott have been criticised in some quarters at times for a perceived failure to score quickly enough in one-day internationals but their measured approach seemed perfect in the conditions as they progressed at close to a run a ball without incident.
But after Cook went for 60, caught out while hitting towards deep-midwicket, Trott was bowled on 26 attempting an ugly heave to the leg side and England were 120-4 from 24.4 overs.
Things got worse with a pair of caught-and-bowled dismissals. First, Ashwin removed Bopara for eight then Bairstow was dismissed by Jadeja on three, both batsmen misjudging the pace.
India were on their way to victory when Tim Bresnan was stumped off Ashwin. Seamer Umesh Yadav bowled Graeme Swann and Samit Patel, then Ashwin did the same to Jade Dernbach to wrap up the win with 13.5 overs still remaining.
England's struggles were in stark contrast to India, who recovered from any semblance of a crisis through some superb late-innings batting, prompting Cook to later reflect that his side had been outplayed in every aspect of the game as India recorded their second biggest win over England in the format, taking a 1-0 lead in the five-match series to boot.
But it was Dhoni's classy knock that transformed the home team's innings. The India captain added impetus and stability - unleashing a series of his trademark, whipped 'helicopter' shots - without taking unnecessary risks.
However there had been little hint of the acceleration to come after India chose to bat on a cracked, dry pitch at the start of the day and found themselves 126-4 after 30 overs. Swann, the stand-out bowler, went on to take 1-35 from his 10 overs.
Without Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar, the start of India's innings was unusually watchful and they were 79-3 after 17.5 overs after the dismissals of struggling Rahane (15), stumped off Swann, and the more confident Gautam Gambhir (32), who was lbw to a dipping Dernbach slower ball.
Virat Kohli and Raina patiently added 44 in 11 overs, but Kohli was caught on 37 - attacking Patel - at long-off, with Pietersen taking an athletic catch in what for him was an otherwise sloppy day in the field.
Joined by the assured Dhoni, Raina ensured India finally gathered momentum - despite a run-out scare - and passed his 50 in the 38th over with India moving on to 179-4. Raina eventually skied Steven Finn to Bairstow at backward point.
Dhoni took charge in the closing stages, supported by some powerful hitting by Jadeja, who contributed 27 from 22 balls as India posted a total England only briefly threatened to challenge.