London, Nov 15: The ease with which Yuvraj Singh dismantled the English attack mesmerised not just Indian fans but also the British media, which declared that yesterday's humiliating loss spelt the end of Kevin Pietersen's honeymoon period as skipper.
"India batter England into submission," read a headline in the 'Daily Mail' after England lost the first ODI of the seven-match series by a massive 158 runs.
Yuvraj was battling a back pain and played with a runner for most part of his blazing 138-run knock. The 'Daily Mail', a widely-circulated tabloid here, wondered what the left-hander might have done had he been in full fitness.
"England were taken apart by a brilliant performance from a batsman who was supposed to be struggling with injury.
"Yuvraj Singh 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," the paper wrote.
The 'Daily Telegraph' said the defeat was a painful wake-up call for new skipper Pietersen, who was having a successful time until now with an impressive ODI series win over South Africa.
"Kevin Pietersen 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 said.
The newspaper also lauded 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," the daily quipped.
'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.
The newspaper also declared that "Kevin Pietersen's honeymoon period as captain has abruptly ended.