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England cricket loss a "kick in backside"

Press Association logoPress Association 12/01/2017 Rory Dollard

Jonny Bairstow deemed England's heavy defeat by India A in Mumbai "a kick in the backside" but nothing to fret about ahead of Sunday's series opener in Pune.

On Tuesday England hunted down a steep target of 305 in Mumbai, against a home XI packed with internationals and led by the mercurial Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

But less than 48 hours later they were served a reality check by what was, on paper, a considerably weaker opponent who nevertheless dismissed the tourists for 282 and romped home by six wickets with 62 balls remaining.

Bairstow top-scored with a fluent 64 at No.3 but was merely keeping the position warm for Joe Root, who arrived in the early hours of the morning and will return for the first one-day international.

England will surely be better for his presence in the top order but Bairstow insisted their defeat at the historic Brabourne Stadium was a well-timed nudge rather than anything more profound.

"It's probably a good thing it's happened here and not next time in Pune, it gives us a chance to refocus and it's kind of a kick in the backside," he said.

"I don't think there's too much concern. As a side we've been doing well and scoring 300 pretty regularly. Perhaps it was a little blip today but there's nothing to really worry about. Hopefully it kicks us into gear for next week."

There are certainly players in the camp who go into the opener short of their best, notably captain Eoin Morgan.

He played a blinder on his last appearance for Sydney Thunder in Australia's Big Bash, making 71 not out and smashing a last-ball six to defeat Melbourne Stars, but has made three runs in two innings since touching down in India.

"Morgs is coming off the Big Bash and it's only two knocks ago he won the game out there for the Thunder," said a supportive Bairstow.

"I don't think it's a worry but naturally he'll want to come out in that first game, make a big impression and pile on some runs."

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