London, Jul 23: Kevin Pietersen put the depleted Indian bowling attack to the sword and scored his third double hundred to propel England to a commanding position at the end of the second day's play here at the Lords. The South-African born batsman was not out on 202 when English skipper Andrew Strauss declared the innings to let his bowlers have a brief go at the Indian batsmen.
At the end of the day India were 17/0 in reply to England's 474/8 declared.
In the final session of the second day, Pietersen came into his own and treated almost every Indian bowler with disdain. He was particularly harsh on Ishant Sharma and Harbhajan Singh. He in the company of Matt Prior launched into the Indians and scored 169 runs in that final passage of play on the second day.
Initially it was Prior who did the bulk of the scoring before eventually falling to Praveen Kumar for a well-made 71 of 93 balls. He hit seven boundaries in his knock before being caught behind the wicket of Praveen.
Praveen Kumar then struck with his next delivery to remove Stuart Board. Broad became the fifth wicket of Kumar thus ensuring that the latter gets his name engraved in the Lords' honour board.
However, that was the end of any hope India had nourished to bundle out England as Pietersen took matters into his hand and started scoring at a frenetic pace. After showing some initial trouble against Ishant Sharma, Pietersen put the lanky speedster on a dispatch mission and scored every possible run of him.
Harbhajan, on the other hand continued to give his critics a chance at finding his fault as he bowled for 35 overs, conceding 152 runs but with no wicket against his name. Suresh Raina was pretty expensive too as he 2.5 overs cost 25 runs but more importantly he dismissed a stubborn looking Swann for 24.
For India now, the task remains to play sensibly and try and get as closer to the English total as possible to give themselves any chance of staying in the game. And the fact that the wicket has got better to bat at, there should be no problem for the Indians to send the English bowlers on a leather hunt.