Born again Pietersen backs Cook to rewrite England Test history

BATSMAN Kevin Pietersen backed captain Alastair Cook to tear up England’s record book as the tourists basked in the glory of a phenomenal 10-wicket victory in the second Test against India in Mumbai yesterday.

Pietersen also praised the dressing room unity that fuelled an astonishing response to their nine-wicket humiliation in the first Test, just weeks after his return raised doubts over internal conflict.

Cook and Pietersen’s 22nd Test centuries in the first innings put them joint top of England’s all-time list, while the spin bowling of Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann befuddled a previously lethal Indian batting line-up.

England needed just 45 minutes of the fourth morning to take the last three wickets, before Cook and Nick Compton raced to their target of 58 without loss and only a second Test win in India since 1985.

“Panesar and Swann were outstanding in the second innings, and Cooky didn’t talk about himself but he’s a magnificent cricketer. He’ll break every England record,” said Pietersen, dropped in the summer for sending text messages to opponents in the South Africa team about his colleagues.

“We came to Mumbai, trained hard and worked hard. There’s a good united spirit in the dressing room. Thanks to the guys in the dressing room, the management, for sorting everything out. Every day you put on an England jersey is a special day and we are so privileged as England cricketers.”

Panesar took his figures to 6-81, to add to his five-fer in the first innings, while Swann claimed two more scalps to finish on 4-43 and eight wickets in total.

ENGLAND IN INDIA
Last five Test series

■ 1984-85: Ind 1-2 Eng (5 Tests)
■ 1992-93: Ind 3-0 Eng (3 Tests)
■ 2001-02: Ind 1-0 Eng (3 Tests)
■ 2005-06: Ind 1-1 Eng (3 Tests)
■ 2008-09: Ind 1-0 Eng (2 Tests)