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November 27 2012 3 27 /11 /November /2012 06:27

Alastair Cook treasures England's man-of-the-match Kevin Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen
England's Kevin Pietersen, right, plays a shot during England's previous Test victory at Mumbai in 2006. Due to the BCCI's restrictions on agency photographers operating during the current series the Guardian is not using live images from the Test. Photograph: Rajesh Nirgude/AP

Alastair Cook heaped praise on the re-integrated Kevin Pietersen after England completed an astonishing 10-wicket victory in the second Test against India to level the four-match series.

 

Pietersen picked up the man of the match award after his outstanding 186 laid the foundations for victory. It was a staggering knock following his struggles in the first Test when he was all at sea against India's spinners. This after months of uncertainty over whether he would ever play for England again.

 

"There are not many people in the world, who could do what Kev did," said Cook. It [Pietersen's 186] was the difference between the two teams. He took the game away from India."

 

England's No4 was equally complimentary about his captain who scored his second successive Test century. "Cook has not spoken about himself much but he is only 27 and he has got 22 Test hundreds [both Cook and Pietersen reached this landmark here. No Englishman has scored more]. There is no reason why he shouldn't get 35 to 40 Test hundreds and have a wonderful career.

 

"It is special to be part of this team. The dressing room is united. It is fun and we are having a great time on this trip."

Cook also pointed to the immense contribution of the spinners Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann who shared 19 wickets in the match. They took the last three Indian wickets between them within 40 minutes on Monday morning, leaving England requiring only 57 for victory, a target knocked off with some disdain in 58 balls.

 

"The way Swanny and Monty bowled under pressure to perform was fantastic, especially as we didn't want to be chasing a lot on that wicket," said Cook.

 

India's captain, MS Dhoni, was particularly impressed with the contribution of Panesar. "Monty was different to all the other bowlers," he said. "They were getting enough bounce and turn but Monty was bowling at pace, close to 95 [kph] and he was still able to get some turn.

 

"The others never looked to bother the batsmen as much as Monty did so I think a big credit goes to him. We didn't get the same purchase from the track"

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