Cook and Pietersen keep England hopes alive after Ojha sees off Compton and Trott

England 178-2 India 327

Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen's unbroken century partnership
put England in a position of great promise on day two of the second Test
against India at the Wankhede Stadium.

Cook (87no) and Pietersen (62no) joined forces at a critical point in an intriguing contest, on this spinners' pitch, after England had lost two wickets for as many runs to Pragyan Ojha.

From 68 for two shortly before tea, in reply to 327 all out, they then saw out the day to the tune of 178 without further loss - and England's prospects of battling back here after their nine-wicket defeat in the first Test of four were significantly bolstered.

There was an England all-time record-equalling 22nd Test century on offer as extra motivation for each of the third-wicket pair.

But it was the opportunity to be associated with a famous victory here which had to be the principal guiding force.

England fared well almost throughout, save the setbacks of losing Nick Compton and Jonathan Trott in such quick succession.

After Monty Panesar completed his five-wicket haul, and Graeme Swann finally shifted Cheteshwar Pujara (135), openers Cook and Compton shared an encouraging stand of 66.

Cook was less crease-bound than in his heroic but vain 176 in Ahmedabad - and after the captain had twice hit Ojha over the top, once for six over long-on, Compton too was emboldened to use his feet against India's three-strong specialist spin attack.

It was only when slow left-armer Ojha returned for his second spell that Compton was undone, caught at slip off a full ball which turned enough to take the edge of his forward-defence.

Then Trott went fatally back, as he has tended to on this tour, and was stone-dead lbw for his second duck in three Test innings in India.

Ojha, Ravichandran Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh had conditions in their favour.

But Cook and Pietersen answered every question, in their contrasting styles, each needing a little luck as well as plenty of skill as edges were controlled short of slip and the line of the stumps protected when sharp turn often beat the bat.

Pietersen began with a cover-driven four off Harbhajan, and reached his 63-ball 50 with a back-foot stroke in the same direction for his eighth boundary off Ashwin.

Cook's tempo was slower, but his presence equally assured, taking more than twice as many deliveries to reach his half-century but hitting six fours and that six along the way.

Only when he escaped a sharp chance to Virender Sehwag, on 85, in the last over of the day from Harbhajan did he make a notable mistake.

Panesar and Swann had combined well too this morning, to take India's last four wickets for 61 runs. By the time Swann had Pujara stumped half an hour before lunch, the near immovable India number three had batted for almost 18 hours without being dismissed in the series since first taking guard at the Sardar Patel Stadium last week.

He underpinned a total which had appeared highly unlikely when the hosts stumbled to 119 for five yesterday, and his stand of 111 with Ashwin (68) was a source of particular frustration for England. Ashwin had hardly batted like a number eight, since his arrival at the crease last night.

But he was deceived by Panesar (five for 129), who followed a series of stock balls with one that hurried on to hit the back pad just on off-stump and win an lbw as Ashwin picked the wrong one to cut.

Harbhajan survived on one when an outside-edge off Panesar flew between wicketkeeper and first slip for four, and clubbed the slow left-armer for a six wide of long-on before Swann (four for 70) ended his fun - lbw walking across his stumps.

England's off-spinner then achieved what no one else had since this series started - getting Pujara up the wicket and missing on the forward-defence as an arm ball slid past the outside edge for Matt Prior to complete a routine stumping.

It was an underwhelming way for the new 'Wall' to fall at last, in an India innings which closed soon afterwards when Swann had Zaheer Khan caught at short-leg - off pad and shirt, on replay evidence, but to England's relief nonetheless.

By close of play, thanks to Cook and Pietersen, the visitors' dressing-room was doubtless an altogether more optimistic place.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
artCultural relations between Sydney and Melbourne soured by row over milk crate art instillation
Arts and Entertainment
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux play teeneage lovers in the French erotic drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' - The survey found four times as many women admitting to same-sex experiences than 20 years ago
filmBlue Is The Warmest Colour, Bojack Horseman and Hobbit on the way
Arts and Entertainment
Preparations begin for Edinburgh Festival 2014
Edinburgh festivalAll the best shows to see at Edinburgh this year
News
Two giraffes pictured on Garsfontein Road, Centurion, South Africa.
i100
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleBenidorm, actor was just 68
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices