Pietersen leads England revival

13 December 2012 12:34

Kevin Pietersen (73) led the England revival on a variable pitch at the VCA Stadium in Jamtha, Nagpur, while Jonathan Trott also chipped in with 44 valuable runs.

Debutant Joe Root (31 not out) and Matt Prior (34 not out) showed great discipline late in the day to ensure India did not take control of the game.

Ishant Sharma claimed 2-32 in the morning session to put the visitors on the back foot while debutant Ravindra Jadeja picked up 2-34 and Piyush Chawla chipped in with a wicket to keep England in check.

England captain Alastair Cook (one) called correctly for the first time in the series but they were immediately in trouble when Nick Compton (three) edged Sharma to MS Dhoni behind the stumps.

With India playing just one paceman, Sharma had the responsibility of giving India early breakthroughs and the youngster did not disappoint, trapping Cook in front to leave England at 16-2 in the 11th over.

India were looking to make further inroads but Pietersen curbed his aggressive instincts well and Trott displayed a good defensive technique to put on 86 runs on either side of the lunch break.

The English pair looked solid before an error of judgement saw the partnership broken as Trott shouldered arms to a Jadeja delivery that clipped the off stump.

Ian Bell (one) was resolute in defence as he and Pietersen put on 17 runs in 11.1 overs but off his 28th delivery, he failed to keep a drive off Chawla down giving Virat Kohli at covers an easy catch.

India were right on top at the stage and looked to put Root under pressure but the youngster held on impressively and against the run of play, it was Pietersen who returned to the pavilion.

The right-hander came down the wicket to Jadeja and looked to play him in front of square leg but only managed to scoop a simple catch to Pragyan Ojha at mid-wicket.

The hosts, who have to win the Test to avoid a series defeat, looked set to polish off the England lower order but the aggressive Prior and the defensive Root put on 60 runs - the second-highest partnership of the innings so far - to ensure England can still aim for a total of around 300.

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