New Delhi: England suffered a humbling start to 2013 as some below-par batting saw them slump to a 53-run defeat against India A on Sunday.
The fixture, one of two warm-up matches ahead of the one-day series against India, looked a modest assignment on paper. But things began to go wrong early for the tourists and never got back on track.
Captain Alastair Cook arrived suffering from cold and withdrew from the game after plummeting temperatures and low-lying fog forced a delay to the start. Stand-in captain Eoin Morgan inserted the hosts, who went on to make 224 for four in a reduced 39-over innings.
What followed as England chased a revised target of 229 was not good enough, with the middle-order collapsing in quick time and only Ian Bell showing the necessary resolve as his 91 coaxed the side to 175 before they were all out.