India are in a difficult position and need someone to put up a heroic performance like Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen. The first 30 minutes on this Wankhede surface can be difficult and if one goes through that, batting becomes a little easier, but as a batsman one is never set on this pitch.
That’s why the innings of Cook and Pietersen were so brilliant and Pietersen's knock was one of the best one will see for a long, long time. To dominate the spinners on such a surface speaks volumes of his greatness and I'm sure he would rate this as one of his best.Once he went past the 30 minutes, it was a display of batting of the highest order. His first scoring shot off Pragyan Ojha was an absolute gem and when you play such shots on a pitch it puts you in the top bracket with the greats of the world.
He toyed with the India spinners at one stage. He swept them at will and some of the shots to Ojha were breathtaking. He walked across the stumps and hit him through mid-wicket into the stands and that too consistently.
He was a lot sure of his defensive technique and provided a straight bat to the turning ball, which was in contrast to what he did at Motera. But the extra bounce on this pitch allowed him to play a lot of deliveries on the backfoot and he pounced on to it. Wickets with bounce are conducive to strokeplay, especially for batsmen coming from outside the sub-continent. Both Pietersen and Cook displayed that here.
The India spinners also were below par. When your captain asks for a square turner then the onus is on the spinners to deliver. I must say that the Indian spinners have let their skipper down.
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The writer is a former India captain