No concerns for Kieswetter

  • Last Updated: September 24 2012, 14:15 BST

England are writing off their record defeat against India as a blip which will have no bearing on their prospects at the "business" end of the ICC World Twenty20.

Craig Kieswetter: England must be 'streetwise'

The defending champions let themselves and their supporters down with a worryingly inept performance against spin in Sunday's 90-run defeat at the Premadasa Stadium.

There were echoes of previous haplessness against sub-Continental variations, on Asian pitches, as wicketkeeper-batsman Craig Kieswetter's top score of 35 was almost three times as many as anyone else could muster in England's lowest ever Twenty20 total of 80 all out.

The key consolation was that they fluffed their lines not in a Super Eight, or knockout, match but a final Group A fixture which counted for nothing between two teams who had already qualified for the next stage.

Kieswetter, for one - a survivor of England's successful campaign in this same tournament in the West Indies two years ago - is confident he and his team-mates will bear no scars from their Premadasa Stadium embarrassment when they head east to Kandy on Tuesday.

There, three Super Eight matches await them at Pallekele - starting on Thursday.

Opener Kieswetter concedes there were lessons to be learned from England's misadventure under lights in Colombo.

"You've got to be more streetwise, be prepared to score ugly runs," he said.

"What's done is done; we did what we needed to do and qualified - and now we're through to the business part of the competition.

"Now you'll see the good teams put their hands up and actually put up performances that really matter."

England are hoping, of course, they are one of those with potential to do just that.

Their plans were unaffected by the widespread protests outside the US Embassy in Colombo, near to the hotel housing England and several other teams, against the anti-Islamic film which has caused unrest throughout the Muslim world.

The roads were clear for England to travel to and from practice at the P Sara Oval, where captain Stuart Broad acknowledged more specialist batting tutorials against spin might be on the agenda.

Kieswetter is all in favour of that too, but characterises England's collective difficulties as a one-off rather than a recurrence of old failings.

"It was a disappointing performance - we're human enough to say that and realise that obvious fact.

"We've played spin well; we've beaten Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan in the sub-continent before. It was just a bad performance.

"We're not getting too down about it. Confidence is still high; we're still playing some great cricket and we're pretty glad we've got that game out of the way at the best time possible."

Many observers resorted last night to the obvious lament that Kevin Pietersen is unavailable for this tournament and, as things stand, the four-Test tour to India before Christmas as he continues to try to work through his differences with the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Meetings have been ongoing in Colombo between Pietersen, in Sri Lanka as a broadcast pundit, and ECB top brass. But messages have been mixed as to how successful those negotiations have been, and when or if the mercurial batsman may return to the fold.

In the meantime, England must cut their cloth without him - and Kieswetter believes they can do so effectively.

"We've got to be adaptable to the wickets," he said.

"Last night didn't really turn much, and we played across the line a bit too much. We should have played a bit straighter.

"We realise that; we've highlighted it and we're obviously going to learn from that."

It was not prodigious turn which did for England, as off-spinner Harbhajan Singh returned career-best figures; but his deception and skill, combined with a surface which did not allow reaction time after batting misjudgements, were too much for a succession of batsmen.

"It's probably a good learning curve to have," added Kieswetter.

"It was actually a pretty good wicket. It didn't turn as much and we probably expected, and we played for a bit too much turn.

"The ball's a bit more unpredictable here - it either spins or it doesn't - it's not as predictable as in England."