Kieswetter: We need to hit more ugly runs
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.
The defending champions let themselves and their supporters down with a worryingly inept performance against spin in Sunday night'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 messed up 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.
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Somerset's 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 today.
There, three Super Eight matches await them at Pallekele – starting on Thursday against West Indies.
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 yesterday 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."