Pietersen - It was hard work
Double centurion proud of massive effort at Lord's
Last Updated: 22/07/11 10:35pm
Kevin Pietersen says he has never worked harder during an innings after scoring an unbeaten double-century against India at Lord's.
Pietersen reached 202 as the hosts declared on 474-8 on the second day of the first Test, but although he was timing the ball superbly by the end of his innings, it was not always plain sailing.
His first half-century was the slowest of his international career and he survived three different referrals to the third umpire, but in the end his patience paid off.
"It's something to be proud of, definitely. There's been some fairly complimentary things being said to me in the dressing room," he said after his first century on home soil since August 2008.
"I've never had to work harder. With the conditions I batted in yesterday, and having to face MS Dhoni for half an hour as well, I reckon it's right up there with the hundreds I've scored.
"They bowled really well in swinging conditions and the pitch was seaming as well. I was missing balls by a couple of inches on occasions - it was real hard graft."
India captain and wicketkeeper Dhoni opted to take off his gloves and bowl himself after lunch and thought he had Pietersen caught behind, but the England batsman was rightly given a reprieve via the review system.
"I had to review that one - I can't get out to Dhoni," he joked.
"He was difficult to get through, though. Whenever a wicketkeeper comes on to bowl it's pretty hard and he got it swinging both ways and nipping. He's just a very talented man."
India will resume their first inning on 17 without loss and Pietersen knows England must do well with the ball to force a result over the next three days.
He added: "It's difficult to say (if England will win), history says it's quite difficult to win Test matches at Lord's," he said.
"But the wicket is still offering a lot to the seamers. It's swinging and, if it's swinging, that is alien to Indian batsmen. Having been put in and scored 474, we're in a pretty good position.
India bowler Praveen Kumar joined Pietersen on the Lord's honours board after shouldering the burden of injured seamer Zaheer Khan to return figures of 5-106.
"It was a dream to play here, it was a good feeling," he said.
"The weather was nice and it felt really nice to get the five wickets. After taking four I was very confident of getting the fifth. It was not about pressure, it was about motivating myself and working hard."