Pietersen’s tough slog as tourists face pitch battle

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Kevin Pietersen rates his 73 runs at Nagpur yesterday as some of the most difficult he has ever made for England.

The batsman had over 7,000 Test runs to his name coming into this game but rarely has he had to battle so hard as he did on a lifeless pitch negating most 
attempts at scoring shots.

He came in at 16 for two on the first morning of the fourth and final Test with England defending a 2-1 series lead and was immediately taken aback by a short ball from Ishant Sharma which barely beat stump height.

But Pietersen battled through to help the tourists to 199 for five in 97 overs at the close.

Asked how hard it was to adapt, Pietersen said: “Tough. It’s the toughest wicket I’ve played Test cricket on, in terms of 
trying to play strokes. I think we’ve gone okay at 200 for five.”

He will take no satisfaction yet from yesterday’s achievement until it is clear how it measures up in the context of a match England need to at least draw for a famous series victory. “It only means something when we’ve finished the game,” he said.

Meanwhile, Stuart Broad is out of the two-match Twenty20 series in India due to a heel injury and will be replaced as 
captain by Eoin Morgan. James Harris has been called up.