Zaheer Khan’s absence was felt as Kevin Pietersen stroked his way to an unbeaten half-century to steer England to 217 for 3 at lunch on the second day of the first Test against India here at Lord’s on Friday.
Pietersen was unbeaten on 71 and Ian Bell on 28 as England added 90 runs to their overnight score of 127 for two.
Pietersen, who has not been in the best of form despite three fifties in the last six Tests, negated some smart field settings by the Indians.
The absence of India’s bowling spearhead Zaheer, who went away from the field with a right hamstring strain yesterday and was declared unfit to bowl for rest of England’s first innings, definitely helped England.
No less benevolent were the conditions as England batted under the sun, a contrast to the first day when only 49.2 overs of play was possible due to rain and bad light.
Kumar traps Trott
The only moment of cheer for the Indians came in the first session when Praveen Kumar trapped Jonathan Trott lbw, after the right-arm swing bowler had switched his bowling ends.
Trott, resuming on 58,, batted for 228 minutes, facing 140 balls. He hit nine fours during his crucial 70-run knock.
Pietersen had a close call on 49 when he clipped Kumar uppishly down the leg-side. Dravid, posted there for the movement, claimed the catch but the third umpire ruled in favour of the batsmen. Hindu