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Home England end 'horrible' tour with T20 win
Graeme Swann admitted England were “abjectly horrible” on their tour of India, despite ending the trip with victory in the one-off Twenty20 international.
Swann skippered the side for the third T20 in a row in the absence of Stuart Broad, as Kevin Pietersen and Steven Finn starred in a six-wicket win at Eden Gardens, Kolkota.
Victory ensured ICC World T20 champions England retained their position at the summit of the newly created ICC world rankings, four points clear of Sri Lanka.
Swann though played down the significance of the win after the disappointment of being whitewashed 5-0 in the ODI series.
“Tonight has been important to prove to ourselves that we can win over here but one swallow doesn't make a summer,” said the off-spinner.
“It's been a very tough month for the team, we have played some abjectly horrible cricket until this match.”
The standout performer for England on the tour has been Steven Finn, who has come of age in the limited-overs game.
The T20 win was no exception, with the Middlesex man taking 3-22 to restrict India to a small total of 120-9.
Pietersen then took control with the bat on a sluggish track, making a 39-ball 53 – including a magnificent switch-hit six off Yusuf Pathan – as England raced home with eight balls remaining.
Swann praised the efforts of 22-year-old Finn, who has been backed by Angus Fraser to make a return to the Test team against Pakistan in the UAE next year.
Swann added: “I thought the seam bowlers were outstanding then KP (Pietersen) with the bat was phenomenal.
“Steven has been the shining star for us all month. I needed a wicket and turned to him and he delivered.
“He was reverse swinging the ball at pace. There is not much more you can ask for as a captain.”
‘Work to do’
Pietersen, who was dropped early in his innings, was back in the side after missing the fifth ODI with a chipped bone in his thumb.
The 31-year-old, who skippered England to a similar ODI whitewash on their last trip to India, admitted the sides batsmen had underperformed.
He said: “India is a good place to come and play as a batter and I think all of us have underperformed.
“We’d like to have performed a lot better but, believe me, we tried our hardest.
“I’ve been here for three or four tours and this is only the second game I’ve won.
“So I’m particularly pleased this evening but we’ve got a lot of work to do, technique-wise, in the sub-continent.”
England’s next international cricket is against Pakistan, who they play in three Tests, four ODIs and three T20s in the UAE.