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Alastair Cook grinds out a century while Kevin Pietersen makes cavalier cameoEnglands ‘tortoise’ Alastair Cook again beat the ‘hare’ Kevin Pietersen to chalk up a first ton at the first opportunity in India. And Cook could only watch on with a shake of the head as Pietersen became the rabbit filling for the man he has dubbed the ‘pie-chucker’ Yuvraj Singh. Cook might not yet have the reputation as a captain that Andrew Strauss did, but when it comes to opening the innings there is no-one more reassuring. It was his third warm up ton for England in 2012 following tours to the UAE and Sri Lanka, and showed that he i

s back into the subcontinent groove. While Pietersen burnt brightly for just under half an hour, Cook played the long game to spend every minute of day two out in the middle and he left the field with 112 not out to his name. Samit Patel walked off alongside him, 82 not out, and between the pair, who go back to England under 15 and 19 days together, they added 153 for the fifth wicket for 286-4 at the close. Long game: Cook played for every minute and left the field 112 not out (Image: PA) “Scoring runs with Cooky was important,” said Patel. “I thought he was outstanding and played brilliantly to bat all day. “Chef’s character and work ethic are tremendous and they show in his batting. Who would ever doubt Alastair Cook? “Determined, honest, sums up his cricket really. He’s up there with the best openers in

the world, he’s played a lot and scored a lot of hundreds and it is not an easy game. “One of our things is to grind and grind and grind and work hard as a unit and keep India in the dirt and that’s what we’re trying to do.” Nick Compton didn’t get the chance to do much grinding in his first ‘England’ innings, falling caught behind for a three ball duck, while Ian Bell must work

out how to play spin better after edging Yuvraj for five. Pietersen was clearly keen to make his mark and dominate in the way only he can, he lofted part-time off-spinner Suresh Raina for a straight six and punched him off the back foot for four next ball. Down and out: Pietersen was caught by pie chucker Yurvaj (Image: Getty) On came Yuvraj to bowl at the man he got out on England’s last tour to India and in trying to hit him just as hard Pie

tersen could only offer a return catch that the ‘pie-chuc

ker’ held onto. “I think Kev started off his innings amazingly well,” Patel added. “I think we need a bit of that out here. We need a bit of oomp

h to get us going and KP does that outstandingly well. “We’re glad to have him back. He made a bit of a statement while he was out there. It is a warm up match and everyone is trying to get into nick, but he looks in fantastic nick and it’s a shame he got out.” Pietersen can be sure to expect more of Yuvraj once the Tests start up, but England fans will hope he can resist trying to deposit his mate into the stands every ball. India A skipper Raina said: “The last time he bowled against KP it worked really well so I thought that plan would work again. “MS Dhoni will definitely bring him on when KP walks out to bat. He got him out in Chennai

so you will see more of Yuvraj versus KP. “He was so happy

to get him out and afterwards KP came into the dressing room and they were having a laugh about it.” Samit to think about: Patel makes case for Test inclusion Out of his hands: Patels selection could depend on the fitness of Finn (Image: Getty) Samit Patel made a deafening case for Test inclusion yesterday, but admitted it is not a done deal yet. And unfortunately for the batting spinner, his position in the Test side could depend on the fitness of Steven Finn. Finn is being monitored by the En

gland medical staff with the hope of playing the third warm up match before the Test. Should he fail to be fit, it puts Tim Bresnan in the driving seat to be the third seamer and with his batting prowess it could put Monty Panesar in the frame to be the second spinner. Patel though did his case the world of good by hitting 82 not out and by batting at six rather than seven behind Matt Prior, as he did on his Test debut against Sri Lanka when England invested faith in his batting. Patel said: “There’s a few more games to go yet but it’s obviously great to get a good start in the first game and a good score - I feel great. “But there’s still a lot of work to do and two games left so I haven’t got that position yet. “Absolutely I’ve done what I can. Scoring some runs with Cooky was great. I’m getting better and the more games I play the better I’ll be. “I think Andy wanted to ease me into that Test series against Sri Lanka and he knew I could bat. I can play both roles but it’s a pretty versatile role with me at six and Matty at seven or the other way round.”

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