They were calling for his head before the start of the season. Come big series, tough conditions, early wickets, and Kevin Pietersen scored his first home century in three years, going on to beat India to pulp.

While his early strike-rate in the 30s and the 40s might not suggest domination, it was vintage KP, moving about in the crease, dictating terms to the bowlers, and making them bowl where he wanted them to. Ishant Sharma, Man of the Series in the West Indies, suffered the most. Pietersen toyed around with his line and length by walking across and towards him, practically reducing India to a two-man attack. Ishant's general line was so wide that not one of his deliveries to Pietersen was pitched within the stumps. Before tea, he had bowled only two full deliveries: both were edged, one wide of slips, one short of them. Ishant to Pietersen in 32 wicketless overs: 101 deliveries, 75 runs.

Pietersen hardly stood still to a delivery bowled by the seamers. He had tried the same yesterday, but today he brought with him the middle of the bat. A defensive India didn't have a short leg in place, and there was no checking Pietersen's movements across the crease. In scoring the first 50, he hit only three scoring shots to the off side. He flicked through mid-on and midwicket at will throughout the innings.

The double-century signalled a return to his best, and set up a large total that India were unable to match.