London,Nov 15 (UNI) Stunned by Indian cricket team's awesome display and England's spineless showing, the British media lampooned their own national side and predicted the end of Kevin Pietersen's honeymoon period as skipper.
'The Guardian' said Yuvraj's performance shows that he is the ideal man to replace the retired Sourav Ganguly in the Indian middle order.
''This would have been one of the great one-day innings even without Yuvraj Singh's back strain. With it, credulity was stretched to the limit.
''After the retirement of Sourav Ganguly, there is a vacancy for an Indian batsman with an aristocratic touch and perhaps, in his desire to have others run for him, Yuvraj has pronounced himself a natural heir,'' it said.
It was also of the view that ''Kevin Pietersen's honeymoon period as captain has abruptly ended.'' ''India batter England into submission,'' the 'Daily Mail' said in a headline after England lost the first ODI at Rajkot by 158 runs.
About Yuvraj's blistering 138, the paper said,''England were taken apart by a brilliant performance from a batsman who was supposed to be struggling with injury. He called for a runner on 37 after pulling a muscle in his back and proceeded to race to the second fastest one-day international hundred by an Indian and the eighth fastest in all, a display of brutal but controlled hitting that saw England concede their highest 50-over total. Lord knows what he will do when he is fit.'' According to the 'Daily Telegraph', the defeat was a painful wake-up call for new skipper Pietersen,''who could do no wrong when he led England to victory in his first five matches as official captain. But he has been given a painful reminder of how tough life can be in the highest office after a chastening few weeks which have seen the Stanford debacle followed by the most difficult start to this most demanding of tours.'' It also hailed Yuvraj's performance and said he resembled West Indian great Gary Sobers in his shot selection.
''All he seemed to do, to create shots possessed of the grace of Garry Sobers, the power of Clive Lloyd and flair of Brian Lara, was to wave his bat somewhere in the vicinity of the ball. It looked that effortless, which is probably why Flintoff, usually England's banker with the ball, wore that bemused look of a man with no answer.'' UNI XC HSB AB RAI1904