England lose early wickets

Alex Hales was bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar for six

Alex Hales was bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar for six

First published in National News © by

England hit early trouble against India at Edgbaston in their bid to avoid a fifth defeat in their last six one-day international series.

Alastair Cook, who has led them to four in succession already, is in obvious danger of adding another after England stumbled to 41 for three after 15 overs of the fourth Royal London Series match.

From 2-0 down, only victory here - and at Headingley on Friday - will save him from that fate.

Cook's was the second of three wickets to fall for eight runs, after England had been put in on a glorious morning.

He played out two initial maidens from Bhuvneshwar Kumar - there would be four in the 10-over powerplay as England struggled to just 25 - before seeing the same bowler strike immediately with his first delivery to Alex Hales.

Cook's opening partner thrives on width but got none from Kumar, who tucked him up with a tight line and hint of inswing and got through Hales' second inclination to defend and knocked back the off-stump.

Three balls later, Cook sliced an attempted cut straight to gully - and then, in the absence of the injured Ian Bell, replacement number three Gary Ballance aimed to on-drive first-change Mohammed Shami only to prop a simple catch to cover off a leading edge.

It therefore fell to Joe Root and Eoin Morgan to try to limit further damage against the swinging ball, in the hope England might eventually salvage a competitive total.

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