Swann hails Pietersen class

PA Sport
Graeme Swann hailed the performance of Kevin Pietersen, pictured

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Graeme Swann hailed the performance of Kevin Pietersen, pictured

Kevin Pietersen proved just why all the effort to reintegrate him as an England player was worthwhile.

The point was certainly not lost on Graeme Swann, for one, after Pietersen and captain Alastair Cook had batted their country into a position of relative strength on day two of the second Test against India at the Wankhede Stadium.

A unbroken stand of 110 between Cook (87 not out) and Pietersen (62no) helped England to 178 for two and Swann told BBc Test Match Special: "Kevin today showed what a class player he is. We all know how good a player he is. It is great to see him being so positive and playing some old-fashioned KP shots."

Swann was depicted in many quarters as one of the senior players with whom Pietersen needed to rebuild strained relations after his summer of discontent.

But that does not mean he is not thankful to have the South Africa-born batsman back on his side.

"I'm sure he'll be keen to dig in tomorrow, as will Cookie, and make this partnership massive," added Swann, who claimed four for 70 in India's 327.

"It's very important ... you don't get to 30 for three, 30 for four, sending shockwaves through the changing room.

"If you get off to a good start, and have guys at the crease who are comfortable, it does have a calming influence. Apart from me having my pads on as nightwatchman, it was a very calm changing room."

Cook is showing once again that captaincy suits him, in the infancy of his tenure in permanent charge of the Test team.

"I said before the series that if Cookie's batting could blossom as a captain, as it did in the one-day arena, we'd be a very lucky team," said Swann. "He's batted magnificently in the three innings he's played so far."

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