Pietersen and Panesar propel England
England became firm favourites to level the series at Mumbai on the back of Kevin Pietersen’s pugnacious 186 and Monty Panesar’s 10 wickets in the second Test of four.
Pietersen’s 10th Test total of 150 or more underpinned the tourists’ 413 all out, which earned a first-innings lead of 86. He added 206 with Alastair Cook, whose 122 was a second straight century and fourth in as many Tests as captain.
Panesar took the new ball in India’s second dig and exploited sharp turn and bounce to take 5-61 from 16 consecutive overs. He and fellow spinner Graeme Swann had the hosts five down before the first-innings arrears were wiped out.
Only opening batsman Gautam Gambhir resisted, although he was somewhat fortunate to be unbeaten on 53 of 117 for seven, a lead of merely 31.
Pietersen and Cook, who began the day on 62 and 87 respectively, eased to their 22nd Test hundreds to join Wally Hammond, Geoff Boycott and Colin Cowdrey as England’s most prolific centurions.
The experienced duo extended their stand from 110 overnight to a Test record for the third wicket at the Wankhede Stadium until Ravichandran Ashwin had Cook caught behind for 122.
Pietersen moved England in front yet, once he was caught behind to become Pragyan Ojha’s fifth victim, the tourists lost their last four wickets for seven runs. If that checked their momentum, Panesar and Swann soon put them on course for a convincing victory with a day to spare.
Live Text Commentary
11:11am - STUMPS; Ind 117/7; Gambhir 53, Harbhajan 1 - An excellent day for England ends with India 31 ahead but with only three second-innings wickets left. Join me in the morning to see if the tourists can level the series with two games to play.
11:08am - FIFTY! Gambhir (105b, 5x4, 0x6) - The left-hander cuts a short Swann ball for four in the day’s last over.
11:04am - WICKET! Ashwin c Patel b Panesar 11; Ind 110/7 - Ashwin miscues into the off side and holes out to Samit Patel at cover for Panesar’s fifth scalp of the innings and 10th of the Test.
11am - Swann delivers a maiden to Gambhir, who then advances to drive Panesar for four past mid-off and take India into three figures. Ravichandran Ashwin deposits Swann down the ground for six in the only runs from the next over.
10:48am - WICKET! Dhoni c Trott b Panesar 6; Ind 92/6 - The left-armer produces another near-perfect delivery to kiss Dhoni’s outside edge en route to Jonathan Trott’s hands at first slip.
10:42am - Panesar and Swann by and large keep the pressure on as a Dhoni single off the former nudges the hosts in front.
10:32am - WICKET! Yuvraj c Bairstow b Panesar 8; 78/5 - The left-hander gloves on to his pad and Bairstow takes a regulation catch at short-leg. If the tourists soon get another, they could call for an extra half hour to seek victory today. Later in the over Gambhir survives a huge appeal for caught in the same position as the ball glanced only his thigh pad.
10:30am - Yuvraj Singh paddle-sweeps Panesar for four and Gambhir cuts Swann for the same reward, but both England spinners are constantly threatening.
10:19am - WICKET! Kohli c Root b Swann 7; 65/4 - Virat Kohli hits a Panesar full-toss for four past mid-on and, having shouldered arms to yield four leg-byes, survives being plumb lbw only by inside-edging on to pad. In the next over, however, he somehow toe-ends a rank Swann full-toss to be held by substitute Joe Root at mid-off.
10:13am - Gambhir continues to live dangerously with a gloved deflection off Panesar dropping narrowly in front of short-leg before Swann bowls a maiden to the opener.
10:03am - WICKET! Tendulkar lbw Panesar 8; Ind 52/3 - The right-hander is trapped plumb in front on the back foot with India still 34 behind. That could be the 39-year-old’s last Test innings in his home city.
9:55am - Swann and Panesar each deliver a maiden to keep the pressure on before drinks are taken. Gambhir then glances Swann for four to fine-leg before having a loud lbw shout turned down with the ball heading in the region of leg stump.
9:46am - Following a Swann maiden to Gambhir, Tendulkar drives Panesar down the ground for four and whips the bowler past square-leg for another boundary.
9:40am - STUMPING CHANCE - Panesar continues to threaten and has a close stumping shout against Sachin Tendulkar, who just grounds his back foot before Prior breaks the stumps.
9:34am - WICKET! Pujara c Bairstow b Swann 6; Ind 37/2 - Swann replaces Anderson and straight away troubles Gambhir, who loops the ball certainly off pad and possibly bat over short-leg. Cheteshwar Pujara clips a full-toss to leg for four but is then caught by Jonny Bairstow diving to his left at short-leg.
9:27am - WICKET! Sehwag c Swann b Panesar 9; Ind 30/1 - The right-hander cuts Panesar for four but the spinner immediately responds with a great delivery that takes the outside edge and nestles in Graeme Swann’s hands low at second slip.
9:16am - Panesar draws a leading edge from Sehwag that loops agonisingly, for England, over silly point and falls to ground short of mid-off.
9:04am - Anderson beats Gambhir’s attempted hook but the left-hander connects with a pull for four later in the over. Sehwag then edges Panesar on to his pad and the ball travels low to wicketkeeper Matt Prior who cannot get a glove on what is less than a half chance.
8:55am - James Anderson, who begins with a maiden to Gautam Gambhir, and Monty Panesar share the new ball. The spinner has several fielders on the leg-side boundary to Virender Sehwag.
8:32am - WICKET! Panesar c Yuvraj b Ashwin 4; Eng 413 all out - Monty Panesar surprises everyone by slog-sweeping Ashwin in front of square for four, but the number 11 immediately attempts a repeat and holes out to deep midwicket. England have lost their last four wickets for seven runs but have a healthy first-innings lead of 86 as tea is taken.
8:28am - WICKET! Anderson lbw Harbhajan 2: Eng 408/9 - Having gone wicketless, the spinner has two scalps in an over as the left-hander plays back and is struck on the back pad.
8:23am - WICKET! Broad c Pujara b Harbhajan 6; Eng 406/8 - The left-hander defends and loops the ball off the face to Cheteshwar Pujara, who takes a stunning catch diving to his left at silly point.
8:18am - WICKET! Prior run out 21; Eng 406/7 - Prior nudges Ashwin into the off side and sets off for a single only to be sent back by Broad. Meanwhile Dhoni pounces and relays to the striker’s stumps where Prior is narrowly short of his ground.
8:14am - Prior sweeps Harbhajan Singh behind square for four and, in the spinner's next over - his first maiden, gloves through to wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni who is hit on the helmet. That cannot be called a chance.
8:04am - Ashwin beats new batsman Stuart Broad and the keeper for four byes. Prior then cuts Ojha to the rope before Ashwin delivers a threatening maiden to Broad.
7:51am - WICKET! Pietersen c Dhoni b Ojha 186; Eng 382/6 - Following drinks Prior superbly drives Ashwin down the ground for four in an over worth 12, but Pietersen pays for an extravagant swipe outside off stump as he is caught behind. His excellent innings and Ojha’s fifth wicket have left England 55 ahead with four wickets left.
7:40am - Pietersen slog-sweeps Ojha for a maximum and, having survived an ambitious lbw appeal, top-edges a paddle-sweep for four past the keeper.
7:33am - WICKET! Patel c Kohli b Ojha 26; Eng 357/5 - Patel cover-drives Ashwin for four and gets another with an inside-edge via his left leg to fine-leg. In the next over, however, the right-hander edges a sharply-turning ball to second slip where Virat Kohli holds a regulation catch. Ojha immediately beats Matt Prior’s outside edge.
7:23am - Ojha, who bowls a maiden to Patel, and Ravichandran Ashwin get through a series of economical overs until Pietersen lofts the former for six over extra-cover. Ojha then rips one past Pietersen’s outside edge.
7:13am - Ojha responds to Patel flicking him through square-leg for four with a beauty that beats the right-hander’s bat and off stump.
7:03am - 150! Pietersen (201b, 19x4, 2x6) - Pietersen cuts Ojha for four and immediately slog-sweeps the spinner for six to yield his 10th Test 150, a joint England record with Len Hutton and Wally Hammond. Two Pietersen singles then put the tourists ahead.
6:53am - Patel top-edges Zaheer for six to get off the mark and then opens the face for a four to third man.
6:50am - Patel plays out the last three balls of Pragyan Ojha’s over and, after a tight set of six from Zaheer Khan which yielded England’s 300, Pietersen lifts Ojha over midwicket for four.
6:40am - India are in a huddle by the boundary, considering a request from the umpires to reinstate Jonny Bairstow. Unlike when they recalled Ian Bell at Trent Bridge last year, India do not withdraw their appeal and new batsman Samit Patel heads to the middle with Kevin Pietersen.
5:58am - WICKET AND LUNCH! Bairstow c Gambhir b Ojha 9; Eng 298/4 - Bairstow drives Ashwin past mid-off for four and Pietersen cuts the returning Yuvraj for another boundary. Shortly afterwards Ojha beats Bairstow with a beauty and then draws a leading edge, which Gambhir catches at silly point possibly after the ball temporarily lodged in the grille of his helmet. If it has lodged in Gambhir's grille, Bairstow should not be out. But the wicket, which heralds lunch, stands with England 29 behind on first innings.
5:48am - Pietersen leading-edges Ojha to a vacant mid-off and gets a run to the man on the boundary before Bairstow top-edges a hook off Zaheer for a one-bounce four over the wicketkeeper.
5:40am - New batsman Jonny Bairstow, in his fifth Test, plays himself in during a becalmed period. He can take heart from having scored 95 and 54 in his last Test - versus South Africa at Lord’s.
5:28am - Immediately after the breakthrough Dhoni takes the new ball and gives it to Zaheer Khan, who begins by straying on to Pietersen’s pads with the result a four to fine-leg. With no other specialist seamer in the side, Ashwin continues at the other end.
5:25am - WICKET! Cook c Dhoni b Ashwin 122; Eng 274/3 - Cook cover-drives the off-spinner for four but then edges behind from a ball that bites. That ends a magnificent alliance of 206 with Pietersen that has put the tourists in a wonderful position.
5:20am - 200 PARTNERSHIP - Pietersen cuts Yuvraj for two to bring up his latest milestone with Cook, this one from 310 deliveries. England are just 41 behind now.
5:15am - Mahendra Singh Dhoni still resists taking the new ball and, for the first time in the game, employs Yuvraj Singh’s occasional spin. In the next over, bowled by Ashwin, Cook and Pietersen’s stand goes to 195, making it the highest for the third wicket in a Wankhede Stadium Test.
5:10am - Harbhajan and Ashwin persist with the old ball in a quiet, if unthreatening, couple of overs after drinks as Cook and Pietersen continue to rotate the strike.
4:59am - Ashwin continues with the old ball and Pietersen smashes him over mid-off for six, taking England past 250. Drinks follow the over.
4:49am - Cook drives Ojha for four in front of square on the off side to end an over that leaves one remaining before the second new ball is due. Cook and Pietersen now jointly have the most England Test centuries along with Wally Hammond, Geoff Boycott and Colin Cowdrey.
4:43am - CENTURY! Pietersen (127b, 15x4, 0x6) - Having moved to 97 in the previous over, Pietersen reverse-sweeps Harbhajan for four to join Cook on 22 Test tons. While Cook’s celebration was unusually emotional, Pietersen’s was somewhat understated - suggesting he is determined to kick on.
4:35am - CENTURY! Cook (236b, 11x4, 1x6) - The left-hander drives Harbhajan Singh’s first ball of the day past mid-off for four to bring up his 22nd Test hundred and fourth in as many games as captain. Later in the over Pietersen top-edges a sweep for four to go to 95.
4:33am - 150 PARTNERSHIP - Cook nudges Ashwin to leg for one before Pietersen drives Ashwin aerially for four just past a diving Gautam Gambhir at extra-cover and strikes two more to herald his joint milestone with Cook.
4:26am - Pietersen rocks back to cut Ojha for four, which takes him into the eighties. Later in the over Cook picks up two to leg and sweeps for a single, moving him to 98.
4:19am - Ashwin and Ojha send down three tight overs without seriously threatening the batsmen, who are content to play themselves in. Pietersen then elegantly drives Ojha down the ground for four, taking England to 200.
4:12am - Cheteshwar Pujara, who suffered a nasty blow to the ribs at short-leg yesterday, is off the field with Ajinkya Rahane on in his place. Even if Pujara remains off, he can still bat at his normal number three in India’s second innings because it is an external injury.
4:08am - RUN-OUT CHANCE - Pietersen edges Ojha wide of gully for two. It was a catchable height but evaded a fielder. Later in the over Cook is almost run out from square-leg.
4:05am - Pragyan Ojha begins the day bowling with a 65-over-old ball to Kevin Pietersen. Alastair Cook gets going by cutting two from Ravichandran Ashwin’s first delivery. Later in the over, which costs 10, Pietersen sweeps for four.
3:50am - Cook and Pietersen batted fantastically yesterday on a wicket prepared to favour the hosts’ three specialist spinners. If one or both goes on today, England can build a decisive first-innings lead before letting Panesar and Swann loose on a wearing surface.
3:40am - What a situation England have here. Having restricted India to 327 with nine wickets split between spinners Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann, the tourists batted themselves into a promising position yesterday to reach 178 for two at stumps. Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen, who have added 110, will resume on 87 and 62 respectively.