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Pietersen: Defence was key

England batsman Kevin Pietersen said an improved defence was the foundation for his brilliant innings of 186 in the second Test against India.

On a great day for the tourists in Mumbai, Pietersen and his captain Alastair Cook (122) both scored their 22nd Test hundreds to go level with Wally Hammond, Geoff Boycott and Colin Cowdrey as England's most prolific all-time centurions.

And Monty Panesar then took 5-61 to reduce India to 117-7 and leave England, who trail by just 31, on the brink of a series-levelling victory.

Pietersen said: "We've come out here to try and win, and we wanted to front up here.

"The captain asked that of us before the game and some of the guys have gone a long way towards hopefully winning a Test for us tomorrow.

"Scoring hundreds for England is special and that was a great moment for myself and Cooky to both reach 22 centuries.

"I trusted my defence more than in Ahmedabad (where England lost the first Test) and, if you don't trust your defence, then you try too many things and you try to force the issue.

"I put in some hard work on it, as I do, and luckily it paid off. When you get happy with your defence as a batter, you go out there not worried about being knocked over or trying to do something silly.

"You can be a bit more patient and you can play your game and I just waited for the ball in this innings."