London: They were calling for his head before the start of the season. Come big series, tough conditions, early wickets, and Kevin Pietersen scored his first home century in three years, going on to beat India to pulp, complete his third double, and set up a bold declaration about 40 minutes before stumps. It was his slowest century, but resuming on 22 overnight he imposed himself on the bowlers throughout the second day.
They didn't think he was Test material before the start of this season. With Zaheer Khan out with a hamstring injury, Praveen Kumar swung his way on to the Lord's honours board through a maiden five-for, a thing of beauty in isolation. His strikes remained a footnote, though, as they couldn't check Pietersen, who hit 42 off the last 17 balls he faced. Also, while Praveen was the only man other than MS Dhoni to look like taking a wicket today, Pietersen received ample support through stands worth 110, 120 and 61 with Ian Bell, Matt Prior and Graeme Swann. India's openers survived the awkward six overs to stumps, but their over-rate could spell more bad news at the end of the match.