World Twenty20: England defeat won't damage confidence claims Stuart Broad

 

England can pin their hopes on a change of scene, and more importantly conditions, as they seek to get the defence of their ICC World Twenty20 crown back on track.

Only confidence, pride and momentum were at stake - thankfully - at the Premadasa Stadium last night, where England were humbled by Indian spin on the way to their worst ever Twenty20 total of 80 all out, and a record heaviest defeat by 90 runs.

It was a chastening outcome indeed to a top-billing contest between the current champions and inaugural winners of this newest of International Cricket Council global tournaments.

England captain Stuart Broad, however, does not subscribe to the pessimistic view that his team's morale must have taken a hammer blow as they collapsed to the bowling of Harbhajan Singh (four for 12) in particular in their final Group A match.

They will travel to Pallekele, he insists, with not just hope but self-belief intact for a Super Eights campaign which will begin against either Ireland or West Indies on Thursday.

Asked if the confidence of a young squad is likely to be shattered, he said: "I don't think so.

"The thing about it is we'll have to learn from our mistakes.

"There were some pretty clear ones in the batting line-up, but young guys seem to learn very quickly. It's something we'll talk about and move forward on."

England could not come to terms with Harbhajan's skiddy variations, paying for misjudgements and unable to retrieve the situation in alien conditions.

There were echoes of the Test team's much-chronicled troubles in similar climes against Pakistan last winter, but Broad is hoping England's next venue will offer up a different and more familiar challenge.

"It will be interesting to see what the Pallekele wicket offers. I don't know if it will be the same as here," he said.

"There's been talk in the Sri Lankan Premier League that it seamed around a bit. So we'll have to adjust to conditions a bit that way.

"I don't think it turned massively here. The guys coming in, who'd just got out, thought it was just skidding on a little bit.

"There was a little bit of turn, but Harbhajan bowled very nicely with his top-spinner going well. I don't think it was a raging turner."

England picked just one spinner in Graeme Swann - a questionable decision with the benefit of hindsight.

"We knew it was a bit drier at the start, but we wanted to try a different balance with the four seamers and see how that worked - in a game we could afford to lose," said Broad.

"It was a risk we took and it didn't pay off.

"I suppose it can be a bit frustrating that some days we play spin really nicely and other days we just turn up and everyone seems to play it badly together.

"It's just one of those things. As a captain, I'm pleased it happened here and not in a game that could knock us out."

PA

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