England skipper Alastair Cook tormented India with a gritty batting display while Kevin Pietersen returned to form with a classy 186 on Day 3 to give England a slight advantage in the second cricket Test.
England had ended the day 2 on 178 for 2, just 149 runs behind India’s first innings total with 8 wickets remaining and they did even better on day three. Pietersen’s attacking play put India on the back foot and the Indian spinners didn’t exactly have their best day at the office.
Cook and Pietersen put on a massive 206-run partnership before the England skipper was dismissed by R Ashwin. Cook made a superb 122 before he edged one to the keeper.
But by then, the damage had been done. England were up and away — having negotiated the first hour with a fair degree of ease. In 16 overs, they scored 78 runs and didn’t lose a wicket. By the time, Cook fell, England had reached 274.
England went into lunch on 298-4, trailing India by just 29 runs.
The post-lunch session saw India fight back though — the session saw 27 overs, 115 runs and 6 wickets as England were bowled out for 413 — a lead of 86 runs.
But it’s anything but an easy pitch to bat on. Cook made 122, Pietersen made 186. The next best score was Compton with 29. So India have their task cut out.
Stats from Day 2
# Cheteshwar Pujara has totalled 382 runs in three innings, including two centuries, at an average of 382.00 in the present rubber. Only Rahul Dravid has managed better average than Pujara in a Test series for India – 432.00 (432 runs) in the two-Test series against Zimbabwe in India in 2000-01.
# Ravichandran Ashwin’s 68 off 114 balls is his second best score in Tests.
# Graeme Swann became the 14th bowler to complete 200 wickets for England in Tests. He is the second England spinner to achieve the distinction. Derek Underwood was the first English spinner to accomplish the feat – 297 at an average of 25.83 in 86 Tests.
# Swann became the 16th spinner to ahieve the feat – 202 at an average of 29.41 in 48 Tests.
# Kevin Pietersen’s superb unbeaten 62 off 85 balls is his fifth fifty against India – his 28th in Tests. The said knock is his third fifty apart from a hundred in India in Tests.
# Pietersen, in the course of his above knock, has completed 3,000 runs in Tests away from homes, totalling 3008 at an average of 43.59 in 42 Tests.
# Alastair Cook (991 runs at an average of 47.19 in 13 Tests) needs nine runs to become the second player to amass 1,000 runs in Tests in 2012. Australia’s captain, Michael Clarke is the top run-scorer this year – 1280 runs at an average of 128.00 in eight games.