Cricket Expert & Columnist
ICC World Twenty20: England have tough decisions to make on Broad and Ali
Selectors must get balance of side absolutely right against New Zealand on Saturday...
Last Updated: 19/03/14 6:55pm
Virat Kohli (74no) and Suresh Raina (54) powered India to 178-4 and although England were well-placed at 58-1 off eight overs, they faltered to 158-6 as runs dried up.
"Worryingly this is another loss for England," said Knight, the result coming on the back of the team's seven-wicket warm-up defeat to the West Indies.
"In truth, though, it was a much better performance at times and Stuart Broad's team can take plenty out of the game.
"Or is it Stuart Broad's team? That's the question going forward - he bowled two overs but he wasn't at his best and England have a big decision to make.
"Will Broad lead England out against New Zealand on Saturday or do they stick with Eoin Morgan and play two or three seamers in Chittagong?
"England got off to a decent start but then spin did suffocate them and Moeen Ali is also a question mark for them.
"He played well in the end but he had to because he got stuck in the early part of his innings and the rate then escalated and that put pressure on Jos Buttler and Ravi Bopara."
Spinner James Tredwell was one of eight bowlers used and impressed by returning figures of 0-20 off his four overs, but fellow slow bowler Stephen Parry and seamer Tim Bresnan both conceded 17 runs off an over as Kohli cut loose.
Knight told Sky Sports that England will have to reconsider their options ahead of Saturday's Group 1 clash with New Zealand, in Chittagong.
"Tredwell has been consistent in this format of the game and the captain will look to his spinner in these types of conditions to lead the attack - and he's done that," said the former England opener.
"But Stephen Parry will be disappointed. It was a tough initiation against Virat Kohli, who looks quite outstanding - Parry learned a few tough lessons today.
"But I think that England will stick with Parry and continue to take pace off the ball. They may well want Moeen Ali in because it gives them another slow option.
"It's absolutely crucial that they get it right on Saturday because if they can win, they've only really got to win one of their two big games against the big nations to progress.
"But from what we've seen here and from the games in the Caribbean they won't go in as favourites to beat New Zealand. But they have shown glimpses of form in these last two games that may give them hope and that's what's important - do they genuinely believe."
Former batsman Mark Butcher was left bemused by England's tactics after Michael Lumb (36 off 25 balls) and Alex Hales (16 off 14) had given the chase a decent platform.
"England got off to an absolute flyer and reached 43-1 in the fifth when Alex Hales got out," he reflected. "Moeen Ali walks to the crease but I believe that Ravi Bopara should bat at number three for England and the innings comes to a standstill.
"MS Dhoni, because he's a smart bloke, decides that because there are two left-handers in he's going to bowl off-spin at them both.
"So for the next eight overs England go absolutely nowhere. When one gets out Eoin Morgan walks to the crease - so you've got three left-handers in a row facing predominantly off-spin and the run-rate goes from about nine an over to less than six.
"England make it incredibly hard for themselves and eventually, as I suggested they might, they fall 20 runs short. It was extraordinary."
Butcher felt England have no option but to be more flexible with their batting line-up if they are to rotate the strike more effectively in the tournament.
"When Virat Kohli is milking runs he punches the ball - he hits it hard; he hits it firmly towards long off and long on, or past a short midwicket or short extra-cover," he explained.
"Unfortunately when the England bowlers try to rotate they allow the ball to hit the bat, the ball drops in front of them and the field gets closer and closer and closer so there's never a single there.
"If you allow the captain of the opposition the luxury of bowling two spinners in tandem for eight or nine overs on the bounce, then you get what you deserve.
"All England had to do was send in one of the right-handers and all of a sudden Dhoni has to switch things around and things would have been easier for the batsmen.
"When pressure builds and you get an opportunity to hit the ball, you are so anxious to hit it and take full toll that you crud it somewhere because you aren't relaxed enough."
Watch England take on New Zealand in the ICC World Twenty20 from 1pm on Sky Sports 2 this Saturday.