England captain Alastair Cook admitted his team were not good enough as they slipped to a comprehensive 133-run defeat in the second Royal London one-day international at Cardiff.
Cook’s team paid for a patchy performance with the ball as Suresh Raina hit a brutal century in India’s 304-6 in this second match of five after Monday’s washout in Bristol.
Then England mustered only an insipid 161 all out in 38.1 overs, after a rain break between innings left a revised target of 295 in 47.
Debutant Alex Hales (40 from 63) and Cook (19 from 33) raised hopes in an opening stand of 54 – but once first-change Mohammad Shami struck twice in four balls, the hosts had no answer with Ravindra Jadeja finishing with figures of 4-28 from seven overs.
“We didn’t play very well at all today,” conceded Cook. “Credit to that partnership from MS (Dhoni) and Suresh Raina, they took the game away from us and we were quite slow to react to that. But even when we batted it wasn’t a 160 wicket.
“You’ve still got to turn and play and to be brutally honest we didn’t do that in any of our departments.”
Chris Woakes was the pick of the England bowlers taking 4-52 but Chris Jordan endured a torrid time as he recorded 0-73 with 12 wides.
“I thought Chris Woakes bowled pretty well and obviously it’s nice to see Alex Hales get up and running,” added Cook.
“What we have to do is dust ourselves down, come back in the next game and play better. There’s a lot of talent in that dressing room to play better so it’s not all doom and gloom.
“But if you play like that you don’t win many games.
“CJ (Jordan) has had a really good start to his international career, unfortunately it’s not always going to be a smooth ride for any of these young players and he’ll learn from it.
“But he’s got a great attitude to improving and he’ll know that you can’t keep bowling wides because it hurts the side.
“He’ll know that more than anyone, he’s an honest lad and when he gets it right he’s a fantastic bowler.”
India’s efforts, after Cook put them in, appeared above par – thanks chiefly to Raina (100) but also half-centuries from Rohit Sharma (52) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (52) – and England’s batsmen duly confirmed that impression.
Cook went across his stumps and was lbw; then Ian Bell, in his new position at No 3 to accommodate Hales’s promotion, left one alone only to see the ball clatter into his off-stump.
Yorkshire’s Joe Root could not get started, an old foible perhaps revisited – arguably back when he might have been forward – as Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled him with a good delivery that nipped between bat and pad.
As others around Hales departed, his debut innings at this level faltered – and he had made the last 10 of his 40 in singles from 30 balls when he mis-swept Ravindra Jadeja (four for 28) to short fine-leg.
England were fast running out of feasible options to mount a challenge, all the more so when Jos Buttler poked a catch to cover off Jadeja – and Eoin Morgan could only limit embarrassment, and help to avoid any record margin of defeat, rather than threaten a telling resurgence.
Rohit had helped India recover from a sticky start of their own, and then Raina took over in a fifth-wicket stand of 144 with Dhoni.
By the time he holed out in the deep off Woakes, having hit 12 fours and three sixes from 75 balls in his fourth one-day international hundred, early expectations that England might heavily restrict India were shot to bits.
The change bowling was very flaky from Ben Stokes and Jordan, who was unable to hold the line required with no off-side cover behind the ring in batting powerplay and ended up responsible for 12 of England’s 16 wides.
Woakes’s two early victims, Shikhar Dhawan and then Virat Kohli for a duck, were reward for his and James Anderson’s accuracy as India stumbled to 26-2 after 10 overs.
Dhawan edged an attempted drive behind, and Woakes doubled up to extend Kohli’s wretched tour when he crunched a head-high catch straight to mid-off.
India were badly in need of some top-order substance, and Rohit and Ajinkya Rahane provided it – putting on 69 between overs 10 and 20 in a low-risk stand of 91.
After Rahane went after a third-umpire consultation off James Tredwell, Rohit passed his 82-ball 50.
The opener’s innings concluded in an anti-climax that India could ill-afford when he sliced his attempt to hit Tredwell for a straight six instead to long off.
But it turned out Rohit’s earnest contribution was merely a prelude to the Raina show.
The left-hander was absent, surplus to requirements in the Test series. But limited-overs are his forte and he proved so – albeit with one significant moment of fortune when Tredwell might easily have had him lbw sweeping.
Raina barely put another foot wrong.
He and Dhoni plundered 62 in powerplay – including one Woakes over which cost 20, with two Raina sixes, and another containing 11 deliveries because of five wides from the errant Jordan.
The last 10 overs then cost another 86 runs.
Much damage was therefore done already to home hopes, but England’s response with the bat was hugely disappointing nonetheless.