England captain Alastair Cook seemed to have found a way to overcome the hosts’ troubles against spin as his unbroken 110-run stand with Kevin Pietersen helped his team finish the second day on 178 for two.
After losing Nick Compton (29) and Jonathan Trott (zero) in quick succession to Pragyan Ojha, the visitors appeared to crumble. But Cook batted with supreme calm to reach 87 at stumps, while Pietersen displayed flashes of his old brilliance with 62 off 85 balls.
Earlier, England effectively wrapped up India’s last four wickets for 61. They were finally successful in capturing Cheteshwar Pujara’s (135) wicket as Matt Prior stumped him off Graeme Swann’s delivery. Pujara was responsible for helping the home side post a decent 327 at the end of their innings.
Recalled spinner Monty Panesar claimed five wickets for 129 runs and Swann passed 200 Test wickets with four for 70, becoming only the fifth off-spinner in Test cricket’s history to do so.
Cook, meanwhile, is within 13 runs of his fourth hundred in as many Tests as England skipper after another measured innings.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 25th, 2012.
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