England's preparations for their upcoming three-match ODI series against India concluded on a notably sour note on Thursday (12 January) with a comprehensive defeat to the hosts's A side. Returning captain Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler were both dismissed for golden ducks as the tourists slipped to a dreadful six-wicket defeat with 62 balls to spare in a second and final 50-over warm-up match at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.
England, who slumped to a 4-0 loss in the winter Test series, had won their first game of the tour at the same venue on Tuesday when an impressive 93 from Sam Billings and supporting knocks from Jason Roy, Buttler and Liam Dawson helped to negate Ambati Rayudu's century and a swashbuckling final captain's innings from MS Dhoni.
No doubt encouraged by that result, Morgan won the toss and elected to bat. Trevor Bayliss' side went on to reach 42 without loss, only for Roy to then depart in odd circumstances when a bouncer from Pradeep Sangwan hit him on the helmet and removed the bails.
Fellow opener Alex Hales notched a 49-ball half-century and enjoyed a profitable partnership with Jonny Bairstow before being caught by Ajinkya Rahane at mid-wicket off the bowling of Shahbaz Nadeem.
Morgan, who scored only three runs in the first warm-up tie and fell victim to an excellent one-handed catch from Shikhar Dhawan, then chipped back to Nadeem as England lost two quick wickets. An even worse collapse ensued later when the otherwise industrious Bairstow was removed for 64, vice-captain Buttler joined his skipper in being caught and bowled first ball and Moeen Ali found himself dispatched on one. Those three dismissals came in just seven deliveries and for only two runs.
Chris Woakes was bowled on 16 and Ben Stokes made 38 before being taken by Ishan Kishan to leave England on 198-8. With Liam Plunkett also gone, Adil Rashid and David Willey combined for a final wicket-stand that went over 50.
Chasing 283 for victory, India opening pair Rahane and Sheldon Jackson combined for 119 before the latter was removed courtesy of a breakthrough from Moeen. The big-hitting Rishabh Pant added 59 in 36 balls including 10 boundaries, eventually falling when an attempted six was caught by Hales off Rashid. Rahane was bowled by Willey for 91 and Suresh Raina was five short of his own 50 when he was caught by Hales off Jake Ball.
Deepak Hooda and Kishan steered India 'A' to a comfortable win and left England with plenty to ponder before Sunday's (15 January) ODI opener in Pune. They then visit Cuttack and Kolkata before finishing a testing tour of the subcontinent with a trio of Twenty20 internationals.