India A v England XI, Mumbai, 2nd day October 31, 2012

Yuvraj trumps Pietersen, but Cook marches on

After Yuvraj Singh's double strike, Alastair Cook and Samit Patel forged a solid stand that ensured India A's fielders will have to endure the Mumbai heat on the final day
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Two men on the way to making comebacks for their respective Test sides faced off at the Brabourne Stadium, and it was the one whose return is less certain that won the duel. Kevin Pietersen and Yuvraj Singh have history, and the England batsman was dismissed again by the left-arm spinner he once called a "pie-chucker".

Yuvraj is making a bid to break back into India's Test squad following his treatment for a germ-cell cancer, while Pietersen is being reintegrated into the England set-up after being dropped because he criticised former captain Andrew Strauss in messages sent to South Africa players during the summer. They faced each other on either side of the lunch break.

Coming in at 97 for 2, Pietersen began fluently, scoring at close to a run a ball, and it didn't take long for India A captain, Suresh Raina, to give Yuvraj the ball. His slow-bowling options were limited because of the absence of a spinner in the India A squad.

After bowling a tight spell in the first session, Yuvraj was brought back after lunch. Alastair Cook took a single off the first ball, and the next one to Pietersen was a dot. Pietersen stepped out to the third ball, mistimed a lofted straight drive, and hit the ball back to Yuvraj to be caught and bowled for 23 off 24 balls. Yuvraj dismissed Ian Bell in his next over: a classic left-arm spinner's wicket with the ball taking the edge and going to the slip fielder. He bowled 16 overs on the second day, taking 2 for 52 and pushing his claim for a spot in India's Test team.

Not everything went India A's way, though. While Yuvraj was taking those wickets, Cook was solid at his end, batting for the entire day after James Anderson trapped Vinay Kumar lbw to end India A's innings with the first ball of the morning. Cook found support in Samit Patel and the pair added an unbroken 153-run stand for the fifth wicket.

India A's fielders, all of whom are flying to various corners of the country hours after the match ends on Thursday to play Ranji Trophy matches, had to field in the blazing sun, and wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha's poor form meant they will have to endure another day in the heat.

Saha missed three opportunities to break the Cook-Patel stand. The first one came when Patel was on 29, with England XI on 182 for 4. He nicked one down the leg side off Parvinder Awana but the ball slipped out of the diving Saha's hands. In the third session, Yuvraj managed to draw Cook, on 88 with his team on 226, forward and induce an edge but Saha dropped it. And when Yuvraj drew another edge, this time Patel trying to cut on 61, Saha failed to collect yet again.

The chance of a result is now remote but the battle for the first-innings advantage is on. England are 83 runs behind with six wickets in hand.

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Meety on | November 2, 2012, 6:26 GMT

    @ satish619chandar on (November 01 2012, 06:07 AM GMT) - I wouldn't go that far, although Yuvraj's haul was impressive. I just wonder if this ended up being a nice "sighter" for English batsmen? @A_Vacant_Slip on (November 01 2012, 08:55 AM GMT) - re: KP v left arm spin - the stats are pretty sugestive of some form of weakness. I think in Tests he averages half his overall ave against left arm spinners - didn't help Doherty or Beer much though! I would not say it is a "desperate" observation. There is too high of an occurance.

  • POSTED BY A_Vacant_Slip on | November 1, 2012, 21:41 GMT

    @JG2704 hello again my friend. Yes of course KP very abject in UAE - like all England batting there actually an embarresment. But, hey lightning never striking and all that, eh? Looking forward to this series... test match cricket is KING!!! Enjoy!!

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | November 1, 2012, 17:23 GMT

    @ A_Vacant_Slip on (November 01 2012, 08:55 AM GMT) Agree re our batsmen showing some sort of intent in UAE but KP was one of the worst out there. Only Bell (as a batsman) was worse

  • POSTED BY Akshita29 on | November 1, 2012, 13:09 GMT

    Hey did anyone watch the conversation between KP and Yuvi during wt20 . Yuvi had said" Kp you should play not talk in the studio . " Kp said'" Whenever I play against you I try to gift my wicket." Yuvi said " Yeah when you are playing I am confirmed a wicket . Plz come back soon " . After that Wasim and Dada pulled KP's leg reminding him he once had called yuvi a Piechucker . And what a irony that poor Kp got out to yuvraj again . But its a good thing its a warm up . When the test series starts I hope KP don"t try to go gong ho against yuvi if yuvi plays . But it's almost certain that KP wont back down ..............

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | November 1, 2012, 9:14 GMT

    TBH - even as an England fan. You have to laugh at Yuvraj (the man KP labelled as a pie chucker) getting him out again.

  • POSTED BY A_Vacant_Slip on | November 1, 2012, 8:55 GMT

    I must say - I am amazed that KP is back playing for England!!! I really thought he was gone and I said so here on cricinfo many time. But now he is here it has to be remembered that he is contempuous of spin bowler - any spin bowler. KP will look to smash all spin bowler - he like all great batsman will look to dominate bowler. There is no "weakness" of KP V left arm spin. This is what some desperate people want to believe. Let them believe it. Truth is Pietersen is more agressive against spin - thus he is more likely to get out to it. If you don't believe that KP more agressive against spin - just ask Shane Warne (Oval 2005, Adelaide 2006), Sri Lanka in Colombo test 2011 and Harbhajan in Lords test 2011. Agression is the right way to go. KP also have more experience of India than whole of rest of England team he know how to play spin in India. The question for India is how to contain KP. If only all of England batsman could employ agression in UAE test they might have done better...

  • POSTED BY himohan007 on | November 1, 2012, 8:35 GMT

    @ satish619chandar That was an excellent reply

  • POSTED BY himohan007 on | November 1, 2012, 8:34 GMT

    @US_Indian,Hiten Sheth. What did Parthiv done when he was given 10 ODI matches against Eng. Guys Dhoni has been selected for 5 consecutive years for ICC World XI of the year in ODI since his debute in 2007, also sekected one time in Test also. So stop accusing his talent cum hard work for being in the team. Your biased comment wont make Parthiv a great wicket keeper batsman in world but performance does. So why dont u ask Parthiv to perform.

  • POSTED BY CricketMaan on | November 1, 2012, 8:29 GMT

    DHONI is undisputable wkt keep coz there is no No.2 wkt keep in this country..DK, Saha, Parthiv have all done okay, though Saha showed a lot of promise both with gloves and bat in Adelaide. He deserves a few more oppurtunities before judging him at the highest level. DK has shown form wiht bat all along but not sure how far his glove work has come up. Parthiv has continue to be king of domestic. There are a few names that crop up in domestic but none has enthused the selectors. Naman has shown class in short form but Ranji should be the basis and Manvinder, the HERO of IPL 5 doesnt even have on Ranji team. Rawats, Gautams are all still novice in Ranji. So DHONIraj behind stumps will continue, not that he is bad!!

  • POSTED BY himohan007 on | November 1, 2012, 8:26 GMT

    @Hiten Sheth: Saha preferred over DK,PP because of CSK influence. I think u are too jealous about CSK. The real fact is that these players are getting selected because these 2 time IPL champions and one time CL champions is 10 times better than talking champion players in MI/DD baring Sir RJ who was sole reason for CSK not conquering IPL 5. Got it!!!

  • POSTED BY Meety on | November 2, 2012, 6:26 GMT

    @ satish619chandar on (November 01 2012, 06:07 AM GMT) - I wouldn't go that far, although Yuvraj's haul was impressive. I just wonder if this ended up being a nice "sighter" for English batsmen? @A_Vacant_Slip on (November 01 2012, 08:55 AM GMT) - re: KP v left arm spin - the stats are pretty sugestive of some form of weakness. I think in Tests he averages half his overall ave against left arm spinners - didn't help Doherty or Beer much though! I would not say it is a "desperate" observation. There is too high of an occurance.

  • POSTED BY A_Vacant_Slip on | November 1, 2012, 21:41 GMT

    @JG2704 hello again my friend. Yes of course KP very abject in UAE - like all England batting there actually an embarresment. But, hey lightning never striking and all that, eh? Looking forward to this series... test match cricket is KING!!! Enjoy!!

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | November 1, 2012, 17:23 GMT

    @ A_Vacant_Slip on (November 01 2012, 08:55 AM GMT) Agree re our batsmen showing some sort of intent in UAE but KP was one of the worst out there. Only Bell (as a batsman) was worse

  • POSTED BY Akshita29 on | November 1, 2012, 13:09 GMT

    Hey did anyone watch the conversation between KP and Yuvi during wt20 . Yuvi had said" Kp you should play not talk in the studio . " Kp said'" Whenever I play against you I try to gift my wicket." Yuvi said " Yeah when you are playing I am confirmed a wicket . Plz come back soon " . After that Wasim and Dada pulled KP's leg reminding him he once had called yuvi a Piechucker . And what a irony that poor Kp got out to yuvraj again . But its a good thing its a warm up . When the test series starts I hope KP don"t try to go gong ho against yuvi if yuvi plays . But it's almost certain that KP wont back down ..............

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | November 1, 2012, 9:14 GMT

    TBH - even as an England fan. You have to laugh at Yuvraj (the man KP labelled as a pie chucker) getting him out again.

  • POSTED BY A_Vacant_Slip on | November 1, 2012, 8:55 GMT

    I must say - I am amazed that KP is back playing for England!!! I really thought he was gone and I said so here on cricinfo many time. But now he is here it has to be remembered that he is contempuous of spin bowler - any spin bowler. KP will look to smash all spin bowler - he like all great batsman will look to dominate bowler. There is no "weakness" of KP V left arm spin. This is what some desperate people want to believe. Let them believe it. Truth is Pietersen is more agressive against spin - thus he is more likely to get out to it. If you don't believe that KP more agressive against spin - just ask Shane Warne (Oval 2005, Adelaide 2006), Sri Lanka in Colombo test 2011 and Harbhajan in Lords test 2011. Agression is the right way to go. KP also have more experience of India than whole of rest of England team he know how to play spin in India. The question for India is how to contain KP. If only all of England batsman could employ agression in UAE test they might have done better...

  • POSTED BY himohan007 on | November 1, 2012, 8:35 GMT

    @ satish619chandar That was an excellent reply

  • POSTED BY himohan007 on | November 1, 2012, 8:34 GMT

    @US_Indian,Hiten Sheth. What did Parthiv done when he was given 10 ODI matches against Eng. Guys Dhoni has been selected for 5 consecutive years for ICC World XI of the year in ODI since his debute in 2007, also sekected one time in Test also. So stop accusing his talent cum hard work for being in the team. Your biased comment wont make Parthiv a great wicket keeper batsman in world but performance does. So why dont u ask Parthiv to perform.

  • POSTED BY CricketMaan on | November 1, 2012, 8:29 GMT

    DHONI is undisputable wkt keep coz there is no No.2 wkt keep in this country..DK, Saha, Parthiv have all done okay, though Saha showed a lot of promise both with gloves and bat in Adelaide. He deserves a few more oppurtunities before judging him at the highest level. DK has shown form wiht bat all along but not sure how far his glove work has come up. Parthiv has continue to be king of domestic. There are a few names that crop up in domestic but none has enthused the selectors. Naman has shown class in short form but Ranji should be the basis and Manvinder, the HERO of IPL 5 doesnt even have on Ranji team. Rawats, Gautams are all still novice in Ranji. So DHONIraj behind stumps will continue, not that he is bad!!

  • POSTED BY himohan007 on | November 1, 2012, 8:26 GMT

    @Hiten Sheth: Saha preferred over DK,PP because of CSK influence. I think u are too jealous about CSK. The real fact is that these players are getting selected because these 2 time IPL champions and one time CL champions is 10 times better than talking champion players in MI/DD baring Sir RJ who was sole reason for CSK not conquering IPL 5. Got it!!!

  • POSTED BY himohan007 on | November 1, 2012, 7:57 GMT

    After knowing the real value (not even suited for SC pitch) of Saha, now they are talking about Dinesh Karthik. Why cant those pundits admit that Dhoni is the best wicket keeper batsman for all format in India. All DK,Parthiv,Uthappa have been with been with team India before Dhoni and proved useless. Almost all of pundits want to remove Dhoni in team to simply make their beloved Shewag/Gambir as India Captian

  • POSTED BY himohan007 on | November 1, 2012, 7:48 GMT

    KP is highly susceptible against left arm spin. Yuvi's wkt of KP proofs it. So if Yuvi selected for India then Yuvi and Ojha combo can keep KP silent for the 4 test match's at least for 5-6 innings of the matches.

  • POSTED BY on | November 1, 2012, 7:13 GMT

    Yavraj has really improved his bowling since last ODI world cup...i think he can perform really well in all formats of cricket with bat and ball. In one day both Yuvi And irfan can make a huge difference never want any game Without these two very good all rounders.

  • POSTED BY rahulcricket007 on | November 1, 2012, 7:01 GMT

    YUVRAJ WOULD HAVE GOT 4 WKTS IF SAHA WOULD HOLD ON HIS CHANCES . ANYWAYS WELL PLAYED COOK .

  • POSTED BY on | November 1, 2012, 6:51 GMT

    i think yuvraj should be pick as a bowler in test match.........................

  • POSTED BY satish619chandar on | November 1, 2012, 6:07 GMT

    @Meety : This attack did prove one thing. A part time spinner is good enough to break the back bone of England batting lineup.

  • POSTED BY satish619chandar on | November 1, 2012, 6:04 GMT

    Saha had missed a glorious chance to assert himselves as second keeper. His keeping has been marvellous for some time now and should have strengthened his reputation much with a great performance but unlickily, his bad day came at a day where it could have mattered. Still, i would prefer him to be the second keeper by treating his bad day as a one off. He is a hard trier and will put extra yards to pick himselves to his own level of highness.

  • POSTED BY ADI_GUNGALIYA_FANTASY on | November 1, 2012, 3:41 GMT

    Saha doesn't deserve to be Reserve Keeper for India.

    According to me, Parthiv deserve Permanent place in TEST (i.e place of dhoni) & reserve keeper in ODI. while in T20I, D Kartik deserve reserve keeper for India.

  • POSTED BY timohyj on | November 1, 2012, 3:37 GMT

    apalling keeping by saha. If he actually did drop 4 catches then i don't think he can be considered as the no. 2 keeper. Unforrtunatly karthick and parthiv's keeping does not inspire much confidence either. Time to look somewhere else?

  • POSTED BY RodStark on | November 1, 2012, 2:17 GMT

    I am pleased to see that England is playing three warm-up games just as they did in Australia, but I have a question. There's been a lot of discussion under various topics about how these games are set up. Who decides how many games there will be and where and against what opposition they will be played? I've seen some comments from Indian supporters complaining that India only got the one game aganist Somerset before the last series in England, but I thought that would have been their choice. Could they not have arrived earlier and had more warm-ups?

  • POSTED BY on | November 1, 2012, 1:59 GMT

    Those who want Badri in should note that he is on the wrong side of 30. Will be a 2-3 year prospect at best. Its better to groom Raina, Tiwary & Rohit.

  • POSTED BY Dineshjaykay on | November 1, 2012, 1:46 GMT

    I think this selection crisis occurs mainly because of MSD. In my opinion the captain should be kept out of selection matters and he should be selected after the squad is selected for a particular series. This will totally eliminate bias over selecting captain's favourite ones telling that he is enormously talented and keeping deserving ones out of the squad. And in recent past I have noticed a thing whenever he scores a half century along with the likes of raina and kohli and taking the game away from visitors if any one of the partners gets out he will also get out immediately leaving ashwin who has less exposure to international level bowling to bat with the tail to score some useful 30 to 40 runs. If dhoni can stay longer ithe can forge a big partnership with ashwin who is proving he is no mug with a bat

  • POSTED BY Meety on | October 31, 2012, 23:49 GMT

    Hard to get any guage out of this match. IMO - England bowled very well in a trying situation (minus Finn). Then when they batted - they lost key top order batsmen cheaply - against an average attack, (why does KP keep getting out to lefties?) - but then Patel has put his hand up. Also - good to see Cook doing very well. I dunno whether India playing this sort of bowling attack will play England into form?????

  • POSTED BY gp_dadwal on | October 31, 2012, 22:47 GMT

    cricmatters, check your facts mate rohit sharma is yet to play a test for india.

  • POSTED BY on | October 31, 2012, 22:22 GMT

    No Rohit please... why these ardent fan of him keep on mentioning him after such dismal series of performances........ Can't understand... Go Yuvi Go...

  • POSTED BY cricmatters on | October 31, 2012, 22:09 GMT

    Raina, Yuvraj Singh and Rohit Sharma should hang their boots from Test Cricket if they fail again in this series. They have been given umpteen chances and failed to take them. Time to look elsewhere for rebuilding the Test side.

  • POSTED BY on_the_level on | October 31, 2012, 22:08 GMT

    Pietersen was left with pie on his face!

  • POSTED BY on | October 31, 2012, 21:30 GMT

    hi US_Indian, saha is preferred over parthiv and DK because he is part of CSK i.e dhoni & srinivasan & srikanth team. DK, kaif, utthappa would not be given more chances because they are not part of CSK. jadeja, ashwin, raina would be given chances in all formats of the game till they throw themselves out of the team. even badrinath would get his chances now. although he is the only one in CSK who deserves a chance based on his performances. if badri gets as many chances in all 3 formats as raina, he will a permanent member in all 3 formats. let us hope for selection committie not to have a CSK bias.

  • POSTED BY __PK on | October 31, 2012, 20:46 GMT

    I LOVE this! Best attempt by a cricket board to unsettle a visiting side I've ever seen. England arrive in India, after being embarassed against spin recently, desperate to get used to turning pitches and quality spinners. So they were keen to face India A as an important first step. But the India A selectors refuse to pick any specialist spinners. My hat is off to whomever came up with THAT idea. And then Yuvraj comes on and scores some major points against key English batsmen. He must be in the first test side, if only to bowl at KP.

  • POSTED BY ladycricfan on | October 31, 2012, 18:35 GMT

    Why there is no "live commentary" for the practice matches in cricifo? With just the "updates" we didn't know that Yuvraj could've claimed two more wickets

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | October 31, 2012, 18:23 GMT

    Yuvi and KP - I LOVE U GUYS !!!

  • POSTED BY on | October 31, 2012, 17:56 GMT

    Nice to see Yuvi doing well, I hope he gets a run in the test side on the back of his allround performance here. He could be perfect in the no.6 role.

  • POSTED BY prad_pur on | October 31, 2012, 17:30 GMT

    rohit should be given a chance in tests and if he fails should be kicked out...

  • POSTED BY on | October 31, 2012, 17:29 GMT

    Saha was very poor I don't know why saha is rated very high Dinesh Karhik is a quality player. In the 2009 Eng Tour DK was the opener and he done very well

  • POSTED BY US_Indian on | October 31, 2012, 17:16 GMT

    I still wonder why the heck is Dinesh Karthic being ignored time and again both his batting and wicketkeeping skills are much superior to all these Saha's and Parthiv's and even Dhoni. If the selection board and Srinivisan is allergic to Dinesh, they can turn to Rayudu, he is a better wicket keeper and ofcourse a better batsman. People talk about Rohit, Tiwari, Rahane etc but they always forget there are other guys like Kaif, Badrinath, Rayudu and Uthappa , karthick who can fit perfectly into the vacant slots as they have been on the sidelines for a long time now and have international exposure as well, If they are not given that many chances as the likes of Rohit, Raina, Jadeja, then how can one know what they are capable off and it is purely selectors fault. Even the public and media are kind of prejudiced in this regard. Can someone ponder over this and put some sense into the selectors minds.

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  • POSTED BY US_Indian on | October 31, 2012, 17:16 GMT

    I still wonder why the heck is Dinesh Karthic being ignored time and again both his batting and wicketkeeping skills are much superior to all these Saha's and Parthiv's and even Dhoni. If the selection board and Srinivisan is allergic to Dinesh, they can turn to Rayudu, he is a better wicket keeper and ofcourse a better batsman. People talk about Rohit, Tiwari, Rahane etc but they always forget there are other guys like Kaif, Badrinath, Rayudu and Uthappa , karthick who can fit perfectly into the vacant slots as they have been on the sidelines for a long time now and have international exposure as well, If they are not given that many chances as the likes of Rohit, Raina, Jadeja, then how can one know what they are capable off and it is purely selectors fault. Even the public and media are kind of prejudiced in this regard. Can someone ponder over this and put some sense into the selectors minds.

  • POSTED BY on | October 31, 2012, 17:29 GMT

    Saha was very poor I don't know why saha is rated very high Dinesh Karhik is a quality player. In the 2009 Eng Tour DK was the opener and he done very well

  • POSTED BY prad_pur on | October 31, 2012, 17:30 GMT

    rohit should be given a chance in tests and if he fails should be kicked out...

  • POSTED BY on | October 31, 2012, 17:56 GMT

    Nice to see Yuvi doing well, I hope he gets a run in the test side on the back of his allround performance here. He could be perfect in the no.6 role.

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | October 31, 2012, 18:23 GMT

    Yuvi and KP - I LOVE U GUYS !!!

  • POSTED BY ladycricfan on | October 31, 2012, 18:35 GMT

    Why there is no "live commentary" for the practice matches in cricifo? With just the "updates" we didn't know that Yuvraj could've claimed two more wickets

  • POSTED BY __PK on | October 31, 2012, 20:46 GMT

    I LOVE this! Best attempt by a cricket board to unsettle a visiting side I've ever seen. England arrive in India, after being embarassed against spin recently, desperate to get used to turning pitches and quality spinners. So they were keen to face India A as an important first step. But the India A selectors refuse to pick any specialist spinners. My hat is off to whomever came up with THAT idea. And then Yuvraj comes on and scores some major points against key English batsmen. He must be in the first test side, if only to bowl at KP.

  • POSTED BY on | October 31, 2012, 21:30 GMT

    hi US_Indian, saha is preferred over parthiv and DK because he is part of CSK i.e dhoni & srinivasan & srikanth team. DK, kaif, utthappa would not be given more chances because they are not part of CSK. jadeja, ashwin, raina would be given chances in all formats of the game till they throw themselves out of the team. even badrinath would get his chances now. although he is the only one in CSK who deserves a chance based on his performances. if badri gets as many chances in all 3 formats as raina, he will a permanent member in all 3 formats. let us hope for selection committie not to have a CSK bias.

  • POSTED BY on_the_level on | October 31, 2012, 22:08 GMT

    Pietersen was left with pie on his face!

  • POSTED BY cricmatters on | October 31, 2012, 22:09 GMT

    Raina, Yuvraj Singh and Rohit Sharma should hang their boots from Test Cricket if they fail again in this series. They have been given umpteen chances and failed to take them. Time to look elsewhere for rebuilding the Test side.