Pietersen at peak of his powers
Posted in England in India 2012-13
As a standalone performance, Kevin Pietersen’s masterful 186 in Mumbai is worthy of the highest praise.
Yet, remarkably, it can be argued that the innings may not even represent Pietersen’s best in 2012, with this latest tour de force a third demonstration of his rare talent inside eight months.
Given the assistance on offer to India’s trio of spinners at the Wankhede Stadium, ecb.co.uk would suggest that the 32-year-old scaled new heights today as he combined with Alastair Cook to carve out a healthy lead for England that was to appear ever more valuable as the hosts floundered in their second innings.
It is one thing to score runs in the face of sharp turn on a dusty surface, but quite another to progress with the fluency Pietersen exhibited.
Maybe, however, we should no longer be surprised. After all, this is a player already established as the most valuable of assets, one capable of making the extraordinary seem ordinary.
Seven months ago, it was Pietersen who set up a series-levelling victory in Colombo with a scintillating 151 that belied England’s struggles against spin throughout the winter.
In August, he had spectators gasping in amazement once more at Headingley Carnegie, where he took apart South Africa’s much-vaunted pace attack with an array of audacious strokes en route to 149.
Few players can claim to have delivered a solitary display of such quality. Pietersen is starting to make them regular occurrences.
For all of his achievements prior to this year - and there have been many - it is hard to escape the conclusion that England’s number four is more powerful than ever.
His last eight Tests have brought three of the finest centuries you could wish to see. Let us hope there are many more to come.