England v India, 1st npower Test, Lord's, 2nd day

'I've never had to work harder' - Pietersen

For the third time in his career but the second time in eight months, Kevin Pietersen translated a solid start into an explosive double-century finish, as if his recent lean times had taught him the value of seizing the moment

Andrew Miller at Lord's

July 22, 2011

Comments: 72 | Text size: A | A

It was on this ground three years ago that Kevin Pietersen's career reached a plateau of contentment. Against South Africa in 2008, he stroked a century in his first Test appearance against his former countrymen, and declared immediately afterwards that he'd never felt "so loved". Today his emotions were ever so slightly different. There was plenty love, he said, from his grateful colleagues in the dressing room as he basked in the brilliance of his 202 not out, but one sensed that his over-riding emotion was relief.

Relief, in the first instance, that India's belated acceptance of Hotspot technology allowed him to escape the humiliation of becoming MS Dhoni's first Test wicket. Relief, also, that Rahul Dravid's scooped catch at leg slip on 49 was turned down by the TV umpire. But relief, ultimately, that in the course of a 326-ball stay that comprised three distinct tiers of confidence and aggression, he was able to crush the last of the many hoodoos that have laid his career low in recent times.

For the first time since that summer of love three years ago, Pietersen has recorded a century on home soil. It's not, in his own singular mind, an especially big deal, for he had threatened to do just that throughout a series of burgeoning form against Sri Lanka. All the same, the manner in which he broke through was typical of the man and his talents. For the third time in his career but the second time in eight months, Pietersen translated a solid start into an explosive double-century finish, as if his recent lean times had taught him the value of seizing the moment.

"It's something to be proud of, definitely," Pietersen said. "There's been some fairly complimentary thing being said to me in the dressing room. I've never had to work harder. With the conditions I batted in yesterday, and having to face MS Dhoni for half an hour as well, I reckon it's right up there with the hundreds I've scored. They bowled really well in swinging conditions and the pitch was seaming as well. I was missing balls by a couple of inches on occasions... it was real hard graft."


Kevin Pietersen celebrates his double-century, England v India, 1st Test, Lord's, 2nd day, July 22, 2011
Pride and relief were the overwhelming emotions for Kevin Pietersen on making his first home ton in three years, and going on to convert it into a double © Getty Images
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The real graft was done, unquestionably, on the first afternoon of the game, prior to Zaheer Khan's hamstring strain, when a thick and transformative cloud cover had forced England to wade through their day's work at barely two-and-a-half runs an over. Pietersen himself made 22 from 73 balls in that time, an unwaveringly diligent spell at the crease that had more in common with Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott, the two men who have superseded him as the bankers in England's batting line-up.

No-one in their right mind would wish Pietersen to take on board too many of the accumulative traits that those two have been displaying in the last 18 months - last month Graeme Swann jokingly referred to England's top three as the ultimate cure for insomnia, and added that it was only KP and Ian Bell who were actually worth the spectators' entrance fee. Nevertheless, since Pietersen's last hundred on home soil at The Oval in 2008, eight of his team-mates have racked up 18 hundreds between them, including four apiece for Trott and Cook.

There's a lesson to be learnt from their current levels of accumulation, especially as that was the one great criticism of KP during the days when he scored runs for fun. He made ten centuries in his first 30 Tests, yet managed just one in excess of 158, against West Indies at Headingley in 2007 - a return which hinted at a tendency to play one loose stroke too many when he had opposition bowlers at his mercy. "Make it a daddy," has been Cook's mantra throughout his career, as learnt from England's most prolific batsman of all, Graham Gooch. When you get in, go on. And today, as in Adelaide, Pietersen did.

The true glory of Pietersen's innings did not appear until much later in the piece, however. The thrill of his acceleration was something to behold, as he spent 134 balls over his first fifty runs, 82 over his second, 75 over the third, and a blistering 25 in powering along to his double, which he sealed in a throwback fashion by blazing Suresh Raina for 4, 6, 2 and 4 off consecutive deliveries. In the first phase of his career, that was his method for dealing with all the nervous nineties - and sometimes, perhaps most fatefully at Sabina Park in 2009, he would succumb trying.

Maybe this willingness to postpone the extravagance is the mark of a new maturity. At the start of the year, Pietersen spoke effusively of his desire to push on to 10,000 Test runs, and cement the legend that his early successes had always suggested he could become. During today's grandstand finale, he powered past 6000 Test runs, and by the time of England's declaration, he had nosed his career average up to 49.83.

And what is more, he did so while obeying team orders, as Andrew Strauss's improbably aggressive declaration quickly confirmed. "I went off for a toilet break at drinks and I said to Strauss if you want to pull us off now, then pull us off now," he said. "We had quite a few runs, so it wasn't about double-hundred for me. It was about the team being in a good position going forward in this Test match."

They certainly are in a good position, with Pietersen's timely input ensuring they have now gone seven consecutive innings without being dismissed for less than 450. And once again, his eye for the grand occasion is in full evidence. Just as his innings defined England's victory platform in the crucial first win of the Ashes, so he now has laid claim to the first round of Test cricket's current world heavyweight bout. His backpage-catching strongman pose on reaching 200 was the biggest extravagance of his day - that, and an aborted switch hit off Harbhajan Singh, when the beleaguered offspinner spotted him flipping in his stance with his 150 already on the board.

"You go through good, you go through bad, but if you're being true to yourself, you do your hard work and do the business," Pietersen said. "If you do the hard work that I do you have to be rewarded."

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by kumarcoolbuddy on (July 23, 2011, 13:44 GMT)

@tiger11, I am not arguing of #1 spot but first of all SA is far lesser to India is fighting back. Secondly India had won in AUS and SL and not sure of SA. And India is the one who started downfall for mighty AUS in 2008. If you clearly understand India has managed even without great bowling attack like SA and AUS had and that is called fighting spirit. I agree earlier India's bowling was not great but it was decent enough in addition to fighting spirit. Indian bowlers lack confidence. Just imagine what if Indian bowlers like Ishant and Sreeshanth gain confidence.

Posted by kumarcoolbuddy on (July 23, 2011, 13:18 GMT)

@gerardpereira20, if India doesn't accept DRS everyone says India is trying to rule the cricket and if it accepts mistakes try to rule Indian cricket. Besides to this Indians already missed some good oppurtunities and then Zaheer's injury. Not criticizing ENG and ofcourse KP played well but to be frank ENG obviously had lot of luck with many survivals and Zaheer's injury. At the end what ever happened is all part of game.

Posted by offcutter on (July 23, 2011, 13:08 GMT)

I have been among those calling for KP to be dropped, but frankly he did bat very well yesterday. The bowling may not have been outstanding, but he batted with a rare maturity and deserves credit for the intelligence with which he played. I am happy to eat my words, although I still want to see young Taylor given his chance, maybe for Morgan ... Knowing my judgment, Morgan will now score a brilliant double century in his next innings.

Posted by On_me_head_son on (July 23, 2011, 12:22 GMT)

First of all congratulations to KP for his great double ton.All players go through lean patches at some point or another. But 'Form is temporary and class is permanent' and KP is definitely a class act. It wasn't easy for him to bat against the Indian seamers first up but he grafted and it paid off. This is going to be a great series between 2 tough teams. From Pakistan supporter.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 11:45 GMT)

KP finds form agst a pathetic Indian attack. PK's face saving performance, a sign to come. MS really knows how to get in the record books, so much for captaincy.

Posted by din7 on (July 23, 2011, 11:36 GMT)

The truth is southafrica deserves to be the no1 test side. they have won everywhere in world. i don;t know may be not in srilanka, but it will happen too soon. And india they haven't won in aus, sri, Sa. they simply don,t deserve to be no 1.( i m an indian for ur info.)

Posted by gerardpereira20 on (July 23, 2011, 9:35 GMT)

Guys some of you think I am cribbing about a grassed catch. I admit I was not at the ground but I was listening to the commentary on the car radio .Both Michael Vaughan and Geoffry Boycott thought it was a clean catch and were surprised it wasn't given. I saw the catch later on TV several times and also thought it was clean. At the end of the day you see what you want to see. Morgan walked because he knew he nicked the ball hats off to him. Hot spot showed that he hadn't nicked the ball. Who is right? If hot spot technology cannot be relied upon who is to say Pietersen did not nick the ball from Dhoni. The BCCI must be kicking themselves for buckling under pressure and accepting an unreliable DRS system.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 9:32 GMT)

this test is going towards draw....because i don't see any reason that india can't score 500 Runs on this pitch....it was the 1st day if india would have batted then it would have been a different story all together

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 9:19 GMT)

Just becuase Indian team is ranked world No 1(without winning a test series in Australia, South Africa and Sri Lanka), it is unfair to compare them as the record breaking legendary Australian team of last decade. It will create un necessary pressure on Indian team which is full of promise.

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (July 23, 2011, 8:59 GMT)

@5wombats "Of the two of us I know who has his facts right" I watched the game in TV and Zaheer did not bowl at all and his absence did hurt india. I am not saying he wouldn't have scored against zaheer but as i said earlier raina , dhoni taking the bowlers job is the worst thing than can happen in test cricket. It certainly did help him get his 200.

BTW are you going today as well?

Posted by Mazharul on (July 23, 2011, 8:56 GMT)

Is there any left arm spinner in INDIA? if they had, then KP would get perfect contest. So, MS dhoni bring left arm slow bowler to stop KP.

Posted by The_Freakster on (July 23, 2011, 8:48 GMT)

What do people mean when they "question" India's no.1 status? Do you want a link to the official table on the ICC's website? Ridiculous that some people are questioning an actual fact. India thrashed England the last time they toured India and before that, so unless England do the same to them here, India will always be the better side. At the end of the day, the no.1 side is what the ICC book says.

Posted by anexpat on (July 23, 2011, 8:47 GMT)

Why is that every out of form player finds its form against India? Chnderpaul in the West Indies and now Kevin Pietersen. Well, the answer is the pathatic Indian bowlers. My goodness Harbhajan is so ordinary looking ,it is beggers belief why he is being persisted for so long. After WI succes Ishant has been blown away. First match and Dhoni has already thrown the towel and bringing himself to bowl has shown the world how toothless India's bowling attack is!

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 8:43 GMT)

Come on, Don't make lame excuses.. Accept he scored a double.. When Sachin scores double in ODIs did anybody said that it was a flat wicket ????? Come on guys one has played extremely well, so you should praise his knock. Well done KP. You are one of my favorite cricketers over the world. I am Pakistani and only support my country but, believe I love to watch players like KP,Gayle, Morgan, Yuvi. even they are playing against Pakistan.. I want solid competition . Its game one will one and other will loose or game will be draw lolz... Well Played KP.. you made another record of scoring double in the 2000th game of Test Cricket..

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 8:29 GMT)

@jonathanjosephs, a first innings 500 is unheard of? despite a stunning 200 and thanks to many missed chances and close calls? and despite loosing the premier bowler after just 13 overs? it is common knowledge that India are slow starters. The way they will fight their way back into the series will prove that they are no 1. England have got all the glory they could in the series early on against a team without any match practice, but this is it. From now on India will dominate. Remember how England tour the sub continent, they come well in advance to get set, while the Indians have just turned up. India have become no 1 the hard and gritty way, and they will remian there

Posted by mathewjohn2176 on (July 23, 2011, 8:22 GMT)

@5wombats,seriously mate,you need to reserve your comments till the series gets over.Peterson got 23 runs on day 1 in bowlers friendly conditions and the remaining runs on batting friendly wickets day 2.no one can deny he is a quality class batsmen. But is this the same pitch where dilshan made 193 runs and srilanka reached 479 runs after England 1st innings score of 489?? What happened to the famed England bowlers that time? I guess you need to wait atleast to this match gets over to boast about your team who ranks no3 in test ranking currently just above srilankan team.do calm down

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (July 23, 2011, 7:49 GMT)

Beautiful double century. Praveen Kumar btw looks to be a decent bowler, but Ishant/Harbhajan looked out of touch. Indians wonder why people question their "number 1" and it is because reasons such as these. Number 1 sides who choose to bowl first in swinging/seaming perfect conditions do not bowl the opposite side for 500 runs. Its just unheard of. If tomorrow morning, the weather is just like it was on the first day morning, God save the Indians because I don't think the 3 senior citizens will

Posted by stormy16 on (July 23, 2011, 7:35 GMT)

I think KP has answered all his recent critics and questions and looks set for the flood gates to open. He has looked in prime form this summer but just couldnt make it count, he has now and India look out! I think KP's mind got the better of him than his abilities but he has broken through and along wtih Trott, Cook and Bell provide Eng dominant batting options. I think India made a mistake with Sharma - his bowling style doesnt use the conditions and should have played Sree. Zak's injuery is like a nightmare - loosing your key bowler on the first day of the series. Kumar was brilliant but no one supported him and dont blame Bhaji - there is nothing in that wicket for him and you cant expect him to having an impact on a wicket that offers him nothing.

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (July 23, 2011, 7:23 GMT)

hats off to pietersen . he played brilliantly but i don't think he needs to work hard for that innings because he had only to face one class bowle r(pk) on the whole day . sreesanth should be pick for the next test . he bowled with lots off aggression . india are now missing their two most reliable players . england are lucky that zaheer is not fit to bowl on the first test otherwise it would be a different story . india had to bat upto 4th day's tea session for saving this test match . need a special innings from gambhir , tendulkar , laxman,. on the third day india should have to make sure that they don't lose wickets more than 3 or 4 and should make atleast 300 runs . after the 4th day's lunch session india should attack with in form raina to score quickly as they can to make at last 550 or 600 runs . after getting a lead of at least 130 -150 runs over england , the home side will be under pressure as they have to bat on the last day . hope zaheer fit for thattime thereischance

Posted by 5wombats on (July 23, 2011, 7:01 GMT)

@gerardpereira20; are you talking about the grounded "catch"? It was grounded mate. @sachin_vvsfan; I was at the game. Of the two of us I know who has his facts right. Sorry @Trickstar - I missed you! I was carrying a wombat! Lets make a proper arrangement for Monday?

Posted by sachinsjaihindustan on (July 23, 2011, 6:57 GMT)

Well Done KP! That was a true test match innings. It was a grind early on, but he shifted gears magnificently. Well deserved. Indian fans may call me unpatriotic, but we have to admire this innings. PK was very good with the ball. Consistent line and length, and swung the ball beautifully, and got his just reward with 5 wickets. Unfortunately no support whatsoever came from the other end. As day 3 approaches, Tremlett and Anderson could cause real problems. India needs good application from their batsmen.

Posted by sameer111111 on (July 23, 2011, 6:56 GMT)

Really like KP's attitude. Despite having a lean time with the bat, still thinking about the team and not about the double century. India's so called God used to sulk when once denied a double century in Pakistan (despite being notified about it 10 overs in advance) and once costing India a series win in Australia with mindless selfish double century (described by Ian Chappel as one of the worst double centuries ever)

Posted by IndieFan on (July 23, 2011, 6:44 GMT)

@dilanz51: What is so embarrassing for India if England score 450+. You are referring to England as if they are Zimbabwe or Bangladesh. They are the challengers to the no.1 spot and there is nothing shameful about that. Hasn't any team scored 500+ against Australia when they were no.1.

Posted by Tlotoxl on (July 23, 2011, 6:42 GMT)

A lot of people complain about KP and criticize his consistency but IMHO when he really gets into top gear like yesterday there really is no better batsman in the world to watch. Gayle is as powerful but not as stylish and Sehwag relies on flat pitches but they don't have that combination of bravado, self belief and just extraordinary range of shots - even making up entirely new shots - that KP has, he is awesome.

Posted by bluemoon143 on (July 23, 2011, 5:59 GMT)

KP very lucky in dis test match. He survives atleast five times and beaten numerous times by PK and co. and I really doubt dis HS tech 2......for ex. when morgan out evrey one including morgan know dt it was a nick bt dis useless HS told dt it was gone through pad...........ha ha ha...rubbish ICC shd reconsider dis issue as it is nt 100%.........and may be in KP case it was same bluffed by HS. after all its man who control da machine...

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 5:36 GMT)

@gerardpereira ...this is s statement of someone who cant see his own faults. we were lucky to have morgan being given out even thought he wasn't yet you are cribbing about a grassed chance which wasn't a wicket at all. How come all use indian fans turn blind eye to when we get favourable decisions, we don't see other teams and media making as much fuss over it as much us we do. Iam sure if it was a indian batsmen , the umpire would have been removed by now.

Posted by stambake on (July 23, 2011, 5:35 GMT)

good knock by pietersen scoring a double hundred @ LORD'S is great achievement... he played a real test cricket.. a slow hundred but played till end and remains not out... now india is batting... i hope our top orders will give a better start in 3rd day also...

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 5:28 GMT)

OK Everyone can get off KP's back now he has proven himself twice in the last few months with 2 excellent double tonnes that show he is a very good player. Now please move your attention to Andrew Strauss who hasnt scored a run in his last 4 tests and cant buy a run outside of warm up games atm (he has scored 3 centuries in warm up games this year) its hard to drop a man who is captain and scoring first class runs, but if he isnt scoring in tests then for mine, out he goes... also everyone needs to mount more pressure on stuart"can't bat or bowl" Broad to be sacked as well, his bowling and batting talents have been flushed down the toilet it seems, he has totally lost the plot!! Eoin Morgan needs to push the average above 40 to warrant a place in a team that lacks a batting allrounder at 6.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 5:10 GMT)

this indian side will get better after tese ageing players retires..those who commenting that eng will be next no.1 just dreaming because they have few chockers from sa so im sure they cant be no.1 and also given their poor record on spinning tracks they cant beat sl in sl ,pak in pak/dubai ,ind in india is just impossible task..this guy anderson looks noob when he is bowling on asian tracks..only flintoff was the man caused trouble on asian wickets..yes harbhajan needs to throw out and bring in ashwin and also if dravid retires no one going to drop catches like he did on day1..and we have lot of potential as u see praveen taking 5 wickets on lords in his 1st test that itself tells u the story..so eng guys keep dreaming..and keep importing players from outside still u cant beat india

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 5:06 GMT)

Well first of all i would appreciate the way KP played his innings that was awesome , second Indian bowling was very odd i mean really surprised to see harbajan going wicket less and another think why Indian couches didnt try leg spinner against England , England has very poor track record against leg spinners. why they always for off spinner. India must to accept they are not the best bowling unit in the world. Zaheer injury also make KP lucky i must to say

Posted by pratit on (July 23, 2011, 4:53 GMT)

@nightingale-what are you talking about?how is dhoni bowling humiliating?at the start of the day india had to bowl 98 overs with 3 bowlers with no guarantee that england would declare.it was not possible and rightly dhoni bowled.he took the responsibility when he could have easily given the ball to raina.if you suggest that india should have bowled 98 overs with 3 bowlers,then you do not understand much about the game.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 4:52 GMT)

He was out. You do not give the batsman the benefit of doubt when the element of doubt is less than 1%. But that's cricket I guess. But KP batted well, but he should have still been given.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 4:42 GMT)

Congrats KP.. well played. You deserves applause even from the opposition. Cheers from India. Very good performance by both KP and PK...

Posted by gauravgairola on (July 23, 2011, 4:42 GMT)

hard day for india without zaheer. Praveen bowled well.Lords is not ideal place for a hit the deck bowler like Ishant.I saw dishan score 190 odd run against similar bowlers finn,broad ,tremlet.Even Holding didn't liked lord's because of slope.hard for spinner , harbhajan was not getting any spin ,so it was like slow bowler and it was easy to play him.there was bit of moisture because of rain mean there was not much bounce for spinner. even shane warne has no 5 wkt haul in lord's. so it was sensible for dhoni to bowl himself and not bowl raina on those conditions.

Posted by gauravgairola on (July 23, 2011, 4:38 GMT)

hard day for india without zaheer. Praveen bowled well.Lords is not ideal place for a hit the deck bowler like Ishant.I saw dishan score 190 odd run against similar bowlers finn,broad ,tremlet.Even Holding didn't liked lord's because of slope.hard for spinner , harbhajan was not getting any spin ,so it was like slow bowler and it was easy to play him.there was bit of moisture because of rain mean there was not much bounce for spinner. even shane warne has no 5 wkt haul in lord's. so it was sensible for dhoni to bowl himself and not bowl raina on those conditions.

Posted by demon_bowler on (July 23, 2011, 4:37 GMT)

What a lovely moment that was after England declared their innings -- KP had almost made it back to the pavilion, when Praveen Kumar came running up (no mean feat after bowling 40.3 overs!) to shake his hand. A beautiful gesture in the 2.000th test/200th Indian-England test.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 4:32 GMT)

its a shame really dat world's no.1 test team is always banking on one bowler to get the oppsition out,,,but that being said, india still have had england out for much less if they had fielded and caught well,,,,,,bhajji is really letting both himself and his team down,,,,,if he doesnt perform on dis tour then he shouldnt be selected in d future,,,,dere s many spinning talents waiting in d wings for a chance,,,!!!!

Posted by fearless69 on (July 23, 2011, 4:24 GMT)

Respect for KP, Congratz!! Well played.. & even Matt Prior played well // Good signs for india, Pk cementing his place in No.1 ranked team.. Ishant needs to step up & take the responsibilty if Zak is not fit.. Only worry here is Harbhajan singh.. He definitely needs to be dropped from this current team for some time.. already got many chances.. He is dangerous on sub-continent pitches only.. // conditions in 2nd test will favour seamers.. India already has a option of raina to spin, Munaf/sreesanth in place of Harbhajan will be more attacking..

Posted by World-Champs-TEAM-INDIA on (July 23, 2011, 4:09 GMT)

This one is a draw , and this is the best chance for england to beat india , when they are rusty in the first test, forget about the matches after that and keep dreaming about becoming no.1 one and be happy with your biggest achievement till date , that is becoming no.3 in world. lol

Posted by kitten on (July 23, 2011, 4:06 GMT)

Except for the half day on thursday that England were under the cosh, courtesy of the overcast conditions and Zaheer Khan, they had marvellous weather on Friday and made full use of it. Furthermore, Zaheer the one bowler that caused all their batsmen to jump about was missing for the entire day. This ofcourse is not England's fault, and they were right in taking full advantage of it. They say, in sport when the opposition is down, you must 'put the foot in' and complete the domination. However, to be fair to India, I do hope the same weather as Friday prevails, and then we will see what they are made of. We have to also take into account that England have all their bowlers fit, and if India still do well, then you have your answer as to who is the better team. Let's wait and see.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 3:49 GMT)

Pietersen batted with great sense of maturity... he kept building gud partnerships n milked the Indian bowlers

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 3:12 GMT)

Against this very England side, when they were in top form Bangladesh got them all out for 419 and India struggled to pick up even 8 wickets! India really need to put some effort with the ball.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (July 23, 2011, 2:55 GMT)

Well played KP. Excellent triple. Yes. Triple. Double Hundred + 6000 runs. I'm so happy for you and I'm happy for myself as well. Yes, I'm an Indian. Doesn't matter. He is one of my all time favourite batsmen. I can't understand this lack of appreciation from Indians even if they don't happen to be his fans. He is a rare breed just like Sachin and Lara. Savour the Nirvana when he is around. Just so that critics will be kept silent, I sincerely hope India will have more than a one bowler attack for the next test. At least one doesn't get to read posts with blinkered prejudice then. But I guess, critics will find a way of undermining the effort even then. Weren't the conditions tough on the first day? Didn't KP weather the storm? Yes he did cross 200 against a one man attack. But that's also the reason why he scored last 44 runs off 13 balls - ability to change gears at will and for the sake of the team. That's insane! It's an honour to watch the various faces of KP - all in one outing.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 2:50 GMT)

Absolutely terrific batting by KP but Indians were 'hamstrung' without the presence of Zaheer...

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 2:42 GMT)

So whats the point in still persisting with Bajji in the team by just keep on pointing out to his records and lamenting that what a sort of formidable threat he used to be for the opponents(once he was just in 2001-02, i suppose). hey selectors wake up we have two kins waiting to prove their mettle, give them a chance give Bajji some rehab in NCA and let him play ranji(i hope he hasn't forgotten it), we can definitely see bajji perform and fight for his place in the side, we have got a prototype in form of zaheer who has defined himself with newer dimensions afer being dropped. Do not deprive young kids of the genuine chance by offering chance for a guy, who off late has become more of a part-timer to deal with for the opposition..

Posted by dilanz51 on (July 23, 2011, 2:42 GMT)

This must be embarassing for the Indians they cant even take ten wickets against a side like England yet they are known as the no 1 side in the world. What a joke!.

Posted by nightingale on (July 23, 2011, 2:31 GMT)

@sense_sensibility, Dhoni bowling, that too, on second day of a series was more humiliating than what commentators said.. Him bowling, was sort of "we concede" and to a purist, insult to the game-- not any game, 2000th Test, top two teams clashing... On a lighter note Hope you have watched that video, where Ian botham criticizing Eng for fieliding placements, and how that exact field position gets the wicket.it was really funny...

Conspiracy theories suggest: Dhoni bowling can also be a slap to the team selectors.. Mallya prompted Drama...- Dhoni can bowl too why do we need Bhajji? Bookies - What odds would you give Dhoni to bowl today?? Dhoni trying to motivate 'sleeping Giants' in the team itself.. Dhoni wanted to get into the record books...either way..

Posted by crksl on (July 23, 2011, 2:26 GMT)

Oh Sri Lanka had much better bowling attack even with out Murali, Malinga & Vaas. Great to watch KPs awesome batting. Brilliant!!

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 2:11 GMT)

Can we throw Harbhajan out please? oh wait...India has not batted yet.. :) Seriously if India can have Raina, Dhoni to bowl..I would want another fast/pace bowler in the team.

Posted by Trickstar on (July 23, 2011, 1:58 GMT)

@gerardpereira20 Absolute rubbish mate,it was clear, that Dravid didn't get his fingers under the ball and that he grassed it, he got his hands to it but the ball burst through his grasp, he didn't even think he caught it himself along with his team mates, hardly a appeal more a question asked. Lets be right about this, of all the 50/50 catches that have got turned down, where I've thought to myself, he looked like he took that cleanly, this isn't one of them. It's also rubbish to say, the only one at the ground, who didn't think he caught it, was the third umpire because in the Compton Stand where I was sat today, on all the replays, hardly anyone thought it was taken cleanly, it wasn't even a big deal at the time because it looked pretty clear and everyone moved on from it. Even most of the people, I was speaking to at the bar, in the ground, had doubts, so if there were that many people who didn't think it was taken cleanly hardly conclusive proof is it? which is what you need

Posted by bond077 on (July 23, 2011, 1:54 GMT)

Go Pietersen go.....you are the most talented batsman England ever have.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 1:10 GMT)

H Singh again going for more than 150 runs with out taking a wicket bit of a worry there.He did not tie up one end an pressure the batsmen.He's the bowler thats has to start looking over his shoulder Ishant will learn alot from this innings

Posted by SnowSnake on (July 23, 2011, 0:04 GMT)

Congatulations, KP! Awesome batting.

Posted by subbass on (July 22, 2011, 23:52 GMT)

Brilliant batting from England to get over 450 again, and of course almost half those runs from kp, great stuff kevin, now lets hope we can bowl the Indians out for less than 350.

Posted by   on (July 22, 2011, 23:46 GMT)

KP finds form against a pathetic Indian attack. PK's face saving performance, a sign of things to come. MS really knows how to get in the record books, so much for captaincy.

Posted by   on (July 22, 2011, 23:38 GMT)

KP finds form against a pathetic Indian attack. PK's face saving performance, a sign of things to come. MS really knows how to get in the record books, so much for captaincy.

Posted by Sense_Sensibility on (July 22, 2011, 23:27 GMT)

Did anyone watch the sky coverage of the game? what did you guys think of the partisan commentary from Botham and Co? Check out my blog

http://boggle-err.blogspot.com/2011/07/partisan-cricket-commentary-sky-is.html

Posted by Bhiku on (July 22, 2011, 23:25 GMT)

Today the body language of indians lacked intensity of turning things around which they are known for and very capable of.i couldnt see any kind of motivation,support or appreciation from the players to the players.they were quiet like salt feeded hens.it didnt seem like they were in a mood for the battle excepted by the millions of cricket fans.they were representing themselves as a world champion but it was not justified.the thing that makes ma sad is the disappoint that yuvraj has faced after such a glory in the world cup.today even though the indian team missed zaheer buy me and pietersen missed yuvraj.

Posted by phoenixsteve on (July 22, 2011, 23:13 GMT)

CONGRATULATIONS to KP! What a great display of talent and application. As someone who's been critical of the KP attitude in the past, I am eating a large slice of humble pie and enjoying it! The batting conditions were never easy despite the fairly toothless attack and KP used his ability and determination to put England in a very strong position. Great for him and great for the TEAM! COME ON ENGLAND!!!

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (July 22, 2011, 22:59 GMT)

@5wombats "A big chunk of this innings was in the face of some bowler friendly conditions & good swing bowling from Khan & Kumar" LOL you haven't watched the today's game. Have you?

" I'd now like to see those same conditions roll in for indias batsmen to be tested in"

i too would like to see who fares best in these conditions. ENG batsmen (against 1 bowler) or IND batsmen. Lets wait and watch.

Posted by FreddyForPrimeMinister on (July 22, 2011, 22:54 GMT)

Stunning innings from KP and I'm thrilled for him. Hope this shuts up his ludicrous critics - the guy's class and was always going to come good soon. Congratulations to PK too - for a guy with no pace, he showed wonderful control and skill in swinging the ball prodigiously both ways. I hope for England's sake we get some cloud cover tomorrow - and for the Indians (and possibly for the sake of a thrilling series) that Zaheer is fit soon because without him their attack is toothless - if the unpleasant Sreesanth is picked as his replacement for the 2nd Test, he will be cannon fodder for the England batsmen, unless conditions are the same as yesterday.

Posted by   on (July 22, 2011, 22:50 GMT)

khan and kumar? khan never actually bowled to him maybe 1 over i dont know ishant first time in england its normal at lords u either nail it or struggle he iwll get better only worry is bhajji either he needs to step up or get out of team i dont get why people favour him this much in team mishra is attacking option.. u already have 2 good control bowlers in zack and now kumar who are consistent wenough india needs attacking spinnner badly

Posted by gung-ho on (July 22, 2011, 22:49 GMT)

@demon_bowler - home audience? make no mistake, KP is a good player and as he said, considers England as the country where he 'works' and that's precisely why he will never be a great batsman like Tendulkar or Ponting.

Posted by Trioboy on (July 22, 2011, 22:16 GMT)

Great work by KP. Any batsman would love to have a double ton in the home of Cricket. Obviously India has no spin talent that can trap him like the lankans did few weeks ago. KP showed how ordinary is the overrated Indian Team. I'd say if the rain stays away England can force India for a follow on and wrap the game by the fourth day.

Posted by gerardpereira20 on (July 22, 2011, 21:58 GMT)

Well 150 of those runs were courtesy of the third umpire Rasmussen who was the only one on the ground did not think it catch taken by Dravid was clean. So much for DRS. At the end of the day no matter what technology you have the final decision will always be made by a man. A dodgy decision made upstairs is worse than a dodgy decision made by an umpire on the field, at least the umpire does not have the benefit of a slow mo replay.

Posted by 5wombats on (July 22, 2011, 21:55 GMT)

"A legend in the making"... LOL. The legend was made @The Oval in 2005. The issue for KP is living the legend. But today it all came right; quite brilliant from 150 to 200 - that bit alone was worth the price of the ticket.

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (July 22, 2011, 21:28 GMT)

Due respect to petersen.No body has to work hard when you have bowlers worse than raina. You just faced one bowler for the entire day to score a double ton.Sad story of INDIAN CRICKET.

Posted by   on (July 22, 2011, 21:23 GMT)

kudos to KP that was a wonderful innings

Posted by demon_bowler on (July 22, 2011, 21:21 GMT)

So happy for Kevin. That's a great picture on cricinfo's front page. It captures what it meant to KP to score his first century before a home audience in three years, and to make it a double. He's had to put up with a lot of criticism, a lot of it malicious and unfair. He has a right to bask in the achievement. Matt Prior once again showed what a handy batsmen he is when it comes to ramming home an advantage. Don't think England should have declared until KP was out, though.

Posted by 5wombats on (July 22, 2011, 21:21 GMT)

That's a great great innings. KP has thrown down the gauntlet. A big chunk of this innings was in the face of some bowler friendly conditions & good swing bowling from Khan & Kumar. I'd now like to see those same conditions roll in for indias batsmen to be tested in. KP passed the test today. Fantastic and a priviledge to be there to see it. This is why we love Test cricket; There is no substitute.

Posted by khiladisher on (July 22, 2011, 21:15 GMT)

KP IS A LEGEND IN MAKING AND THE GREATEST ENGLISH BATSMAN OF THIS ERA,THE COOKS,TROTTS AND STRAUSS PALE IN FRONT OF THIS BATTING SUPERSTAR. CONGRATS TO KP FOR COMPLETING 6000 RUNS AND HE LOOKS GUD FOR ANOTHER 4,000 MORE NOW ITS UPTO THE ENGLISH BOWLERS ,IF THEY CAN TAKE THE 20 INDIAN WICKETS IN 3 DAYS-IN A SEAMING AND SWINGING PITCH. THIS ENGLISH TEAM IF IT WINS THIS SERIES DESERVES TO BE THE #1 TEST TEAM IN THE WORLD BUT THEY CAN BE THE REAL #1 ONLY IF THEY CAN BEAT INDIA IN INDIA NEXT YEAR,THEN THEY SURELY CAN BE CALLED THE ALL TIME BEST ENGLISH SIDE.

Posted by 360review on (July 22, 2011, 21:11 GMT)

Good batting skills from Kevin. Can we call me Jelly Kevin? Pink or Blue? Anyone?

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Andrew MillerClose
Andrew Miller Andrew Miller was saved from a life of drudgery in the City when his car caught fire on the way to an interview. He took this as a sign and fled to Pakistan where he witnessed England's historic victory in the twilight at Karachi (or thought he did, at any rate - it was too dark to tell). He then joined Wisden Online in 2001, and soon graduated from put-upon photocopier to a writer with a penchant for comment and cricket on the subcontinent. In addition to Pakistan, he has covered England tours in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the World Cup in the Caribbean in 2007
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