Pietersen brilliance puts England in command

India 327 & 117-7 v England 413

Kevin Pietersen wrote a new chapter in English cricket history alongside Alastair Cook as England closed in on a series-levelling victory after day three of the second Test against India.

Pietersen (186) and Cook (122) both moved level on 22 hundreds with three all-time greats in Wally Hammond, Geoff Boycott and Colin Cowdrey as England's most prolific Test centurions.

After their stand of 206 was broken when Cook edged an off-break from Ravichandran Ashwin to slip, much work remained to be done by England at the Wankhede Stadium.

But Pietersen was far from done with.

He helped to earn a lead of 86, and Monty Panesar (five for 61) then took his match haul to 10 wickets with the prize scalps of Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar for the second time in the match.

Graeme Swann also repeated his new party trick to see off Cheteshwar Pujara, for the second time in five balls after the number three had previously batted almost 18 hours in this series without being dismissed, as India barely struggled back in front on a hapless 117 for seven.

Pietersen has drawn contrasting superlatives during an especially eventful year in his mercurial career - and there will be many more of the complimentary variety after an innings in which, Cook apart, he played on a different level to all around him.

His latest virtuoso carried England to 413 all out, despite the best efforts of Pragyan Ojha (five for 143) in conditions so conducive to his left-arm spin and a late clatter of four wickets for seven runs in 13 balls.

Pietersen's first Test hundred since his summer of discontent and subsequent 'reintegration' came at a pivotal point as the tourists seek to overturn a 27-year pattern by winning a series in India.

Cook's second successive hundred following his rearguard 176 in last week's defeat at Ahmedabad was a very significant contribution too.

Out on his own already with his fourth century in his first four Tests as captain after his two while standing in for Andrew Strauss in Bangladesh two-and-a-half years ago, he reached three figures today with a cover-drive off Harbhajan Singh for his 11th four.

Pietersen operated at a quicker tempo throughout to give England telling impetus and rubber-stamp his return to the fold after his well-chronicled contract wrangles and disagreements with management and senior players.

Five minutes after Cook completed his century, Pietersen did likewise, from only 127 balls, with an impudent reverse-sweep just wide of slip off Harbhajan for his 15th four.

By his often exuberant standards, a controlled celebration followed, with England still in arrears.

When Cook finally departed, Pietersen jogged 30 yards down the wicket and past the stumps to lend his personal acknowledgment as the captain made his way off the pitch.

Controversially, new batsman Jonny Bairstow could not quite survive the morning, poking a catch to silly-point off Ojha in the final over of the session.

The young Yorkshireman walked straight off, apparently oblivious either to the fact Gautam Gambhir had completed the sharp catch via the bottom of his helmet grille - or that such impact should have meant dead ball.

The lunch break provided England with the chance to make representations on the matter to the umpires, and India, but to no avail, and it was Samit Patel who emerged with Pietersen to start the afternoon.

Pietersen treated Ojha in particular with near disdain, hitting him for three of his four sixes, the first of two slog-sweeps to go to 150 and draw England level and another crashed almost lazily over extra-cover.

Patel provided manful support, watchful mostly on the back foot, until he pushed forward instead to Ojha and edged sharp turn and bounce to gully.

Pietersen was to fall short of a fourth Test double-century, a trademark flat-bat shot at Ojha resulting in a tame edge behind, and Matt Prior was run out after a mix-up over an aborted single to kickstart England's late collapse to spin.

Their lead was perhaps not as significant as it should have been.

But it looked ample by stumps after Sehwag had been caught at gully, Pujara and Yuvraj Singh at short-leg, Virat Kohli off a Swann full-toss at mid-off, captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni at slip and finally Ashwin at cover.

For good measure, in a near binary scorecard apart from opener Gambhir's unbeaten 53, Tendulkar went for just eight again, lbw to an arm ball this time, in what may well prove a forgettable final Test innings on his home ground.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks