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Toughest pitch I’ve played on: KP

Nagpur: In normal circumstances, when Kevin Pietersen faces as many as 188 balls in an innings, you can bet he would score a hundred.

But on Day One of the fourth and final Test here, at the VCA Stadium, Pietersen couldn’t go beyond 73.

Later, while addressing the media at the end of the day’s proceedings, Pietersen said the Nagpur pitch is the toughest he has played Test matches on.

“It’s tough… It’s the toughest I have played Test cricket on, in terms of playing strokes. I have no clue what the wicket is going to be from hereon.

“At the moment, it looks pretty similar to the way it was when we started the day,” Pietersen said.

The 32-year-old believes that his team is in a decent position at present, considering the nature of the pitch.

“We are in an okay position, but I think my guess is as good as anybody’s as to how the wicket will behave. I don’t know what the wicket is going to do. I think the key today was to try and bat as long as possible because the wicket isn’t getting any better,” he believes.

Pietersen also pointed out that the challenge lies in taking in the strides whatever the opposition comes up with.

“The Indians may think this is the kind of wicket they can produce to level the series. But as far as we’re concerned, we’ve got to accept this challenge. We had faced a few such challenges over the past two or three years, but it will be an incredible one for us in the next two to three days, here.”

Praising Ishant Sharma for his efforts, Pietersen feels that the presence of two seamers in the playing XI could provide England with a little more advantage.

“Ishant was incredibly difficult to play, but we are in a position of strength since we have two seamers.

“Scoring was hard on this track, especially off Ishant. Thankfully, we have got both Bressie (Tim Bresnan) and Jimmy (James Anderson),” he said.

Pietersen also lauded the efforts of debutant Joe Root, who, coming into bat at No. 6 with just 119 runs on the board, never appeared to be unnerved by the situation.

“Joe was brilliant. He played some lovely shots. He has got a good head on his shoulders. I would never judge anyone after he’s batted just a couple of hours, but he’s showed signs of what could be a very good Test career for England. He didn’t need any help; he came in and was batting freely,” he emphasised.