Australia v England, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 2nd day December 2, 2006

The Pietersen and Collingwood show

How Pietersen and Collingwood dominated Australia, and in particular Shane Warne

Where Warne pitched it against Pietersen (click here for a bigger image) © Hawk-Eye

The second day at Adelaide was dominated by Paul Collingwood and Kevin Pietersen. Their 310-run stand for the fourth wicket gave England an excellent chance of trying to force a win, and also set a few records along the way.

Their partnership is the highest fouth-wicket stand for England against Australia, beating the 288 that Nasser Hussain and Graham Thorpe added at Edgbaston in 1997. In fact, it is England's second-highest for the fourth-wicket stand against all teams, after the 411 that Colin Cowdrey and Peter May added against West Indies at Birmingham in 1957. It's also the second-highest for all wickets at this ground, after Eddie Barlow and Graeme Pollock's 341-run third-wicket partnership in 1964.

The feature of Pietersen's innings today was again his mastery of Shane Warne, who conceded his highest ever in a single Test innings, beating his earlier record of 165 against England at The Oval in 2001. (Including this innings, Warne has gone for more than 150 only five times in an innings - twice each against India and England, and once against South Africa.)

Kevin Pietersen's wagon wheel (click here for a bigger image) © Hawk-Eye
Like on the opening day, Pietersen forced Warne to bowl from round the wicket and well outside leg stump to try and staunch the runs. When he bowled from over the wicket, Warne leaked nearly a run-a-ball to Pietersen (20 from 22). From round the wicket, the damage was considerably lesser - 39 from 84.

Further, Pietersen also dominated Glenn McGrath, taking 32 from 28 balls against him. The only bowler who contained him was Stuart Clark, who went for 16 from 46 balls. In all, Pietersen scored 91 out of his 158 against the two best Australian bowlers in this decade - Warne and McGrath.

Collingwood wasn't as dominant against any single bowler - he only scored 33 from 84 against McGrath, but he did the job perfectly. Also, the wagon-wheels of both batsmen show that most of their runs were scored in front of the wicket- a good illustration of the fact that they were in control through most of their innings.

Paul Collingwood's wagon wheel (click here for a bigger image) © Hawk-Eye
After this innings, Collingwood's average in Tests stands at a very respectable 47.64. Before this double-century, his average was 41.77, which means an increase of nearly six runs in one innings.

Collingwood and Pietersen also showed that they are an outstanding combination when they bat together - they now average 83 per partnership - in 13 partnerships they have put together 1079 runs with three century and five half-century partnerships. Among England pairs who have added at least 1000 runs, their average puts them in third place, after Wally Hammond and Eddie Paynter (1146 runs at 104.18), and Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe (3339 runs at 87.86).

S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo