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KP praises magnificent Bell as England pile on India's agony

August 20, 2011 - London

Middle order batsman Kevin Pietersen has showered praises on fellow batsman Ian Bell, describing him as magnificent and in the form of his life after both shared a record partnership of 350 as England ruthlessly dissected an inadequate Indian attack on the second day of the fourth and final test at the Oval on Friday.

"He's been magnificent over the last 12-18 months. He's grown as a person, he's matured so much and I love the fact he's scoring runs so fluently. He's so pleasing on the eye when he's batting and it's just nice that he's gone to his 16th test hundred and there is going to be many more from that man because he is really doing a good job and the hard work that he has putting in since West Indies tour in 2009, whenever it was, its paying dividends at the moment," said Pietersen.

Admitting that both had contrasting styles of playing the game, he jokingly said: "Yes, I'm taller, he's shorter."

He added: "When I batted with Paul Collingwood, pretty successfully as a partnership, it was similar. The balls that he drove were really full balls for me. Balls that I go after and go and drive were nice punchy balls for Colly. It was pretty similar at the moment, long may it continue."

Revealing England's approach to batting against the opposition, Pietersen said: "One of our principles with this team lives by is using up as much of the new ball as possible. Getting through the first, second spells of the bowlers. We want to try and get the opposition bowlers into their third, fourth and fifth spells, we know that when we get our position bowlers into their third, fourth and fifth spells, it's going to end up with us getting some opportunities to score."

For the record, England ended the second day's play at a score of 457 for three. The hosts are already 3-0 ahead in the series, and have a whitewash in their sights.

Bell is still at the crease on 181, while Pietersen scored 175. Both have scored two centuries in the series.

The third-wicket stand exceeded the previous England best for any wicket against India, 308 by current batting coach Graham Gooch and Allan Lamb at Lord's in 1990. By Praful Kumar Singh


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