England's defeat by five wickets was emphatic but respectable enough. They were pitched against a highly motivated and experienced India side, still smarting from their defeat in the Test series, and England lacked the firepower or the form to test them. But for many of Eoin Morgan's young Twenty20 side this was still a valuable experience.
India not only needed a victory to stem the flow of criticism that has come their way since the Test series. They were also eager to find some momentum before Pakistan arrive for a series of one-day matches that assume huge importance here. In this country to lose to England is regrettable, to Pakistan unforgivable.
So India knocked off the 158 runs required without many alarms and with 13 balls to spare. The pitch was too true; the England bowlers for all their striving, too callow or too rusty – they bowled 10 wides, an indication that they were off the pace. And the home side were too good. MS Dhoni was there at the end to shepherd India home, ensuring no dramas.
But the undisputed man of the match was Yuvraj Singh, who had been discarded from the Test side in Nagpur. Yuvraj did his captain plenty of favours with the ball, taking three for 19 with his beguiling left-arm spinners. Until his introduction England were threatening a score around 200.
Then with the bat Yuvraj struck the ball with easy power. He was particularly severe upon Danny Briggs, taking 16 runs from three balls and endangering some of the spectators sitting over the midwicket boundary.
So the outcome was no surprise. However, England are making a habit of surprising us before the matches start in India and this usually involves a Yorkshireman. In Nagpur it was the inclusion of Joe Root in the Test team; in Pune it was the exclusion of Jonny Bairstow from the T20 side.
Whoever is writing Bairstow's scripts at the moment must have a warped sense of humour – and the young Tyke may well want to sack him. After all, this is the man who alerted a wider audience to his skills when he kept depositing balls into the river Taff on his international debut in September 2011; on a rather chillier evening than this one in Pune he hit 41 from 21 balls against India to win the game in Cardiff.
Then at Lord's last summer he took on the South Africans in a Test to the tune of 149 runs in the match. He did his best to atone for Kevin Pietersen's absence. But on this tour of India there has been one Test appearance for Bairstow, in Mumbai; Root superseded him in Nagpur. The assumption was that he would get his chance in this format in Pune, probably doubling as the keeper – after all he kept in England's last T20 outing, in Pallekele. But instead they gave Jos Buttler the gloves and they opted to play as many bowlers as possible.
At the start this seemed like a good idea. After 10 overs England were 89 for one, despite the fact that Michael Lumb had one of those T20 nightmares. There is only one thing worse than a quick one in this form of the game and that is a slow one.
Lumb's solitary run – from his inside edge – came from 10 balls, which encompassed a maiden from Ravi Ashwin.
However, Alex Hales compensated for Lumb's mishaps. He pulled vigorously against the seamers and drove with power while hitting 56 off 35 balls. For a while Luke Wright, the T20 itinerant supreme among the England players – he has just arrived from Melbourne and he has also played for Pune Warriors on this ground – struck the ball with gusto.
But the wily old Yuvraj, another Warrior, undermined England's middle order. He remained stony-faced as he dismissed three of England's best. How could they have the gall to drop him from the Test team? He had the wit to take a lot of pace off the ball when the time was appropriate. Wright and Morgan were caught on the boundary by Ajinkya Rahane while Hales was clean bowled.
So the stuffing was knocked out of England's innings in the middle overs. Samit Patel flickered and in the last two overs Buttler contrived three sixes just to give England a glimmer of hope, but this was soon to be extinguished by the old hands of Indian cricket, eager to demonstrate that they still have a place at the top.
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