England ended day two of the second Test against India on 178 for two, having recovered from a vulnerable position thanks to half centuries from Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen, both of whom were unbeaten at stumps.

After losing two early wickets in their chase of 327, the captain (87) and KP (62) played superb knocks on the crumbling wicket to keep their side solidly in the match. At the end of the day they were still 149 runs behind, but in a far better position than before tea, where they were 68 for two.

Openers Cook and Nick Compton did a solid job for much of the afternoon session, and put on 66 in trying conditions, but Pragyan Ojha had the final say as the ball got older. He removed Compton with a sharply turning ball that caught the outside edge to the slips, the batsman having made 29 off 90 balls.

Jonathan Trott was the other victim to depart before tea, recording a duck as he was trapped plumb in front, the ball going on to hit halfway up middle stump and giving the umpire the easiest of decisions.

India were all out for 327 in the morning, with Cheteshwar Pujara finally being dismissed after 1016 unbeaten minutes in the series. The defiant batsman made 135 in this innings, pushing his side's score past what was considered par on this wicket, before falling to Graeme Swann as Matt Prior took a neat stumping.

It was a good morning for Swann, after Monty Panesar dominated the headlines on day one, as he took three wickets to add to the scalp of Yuvraj Singh he already had. Panesar did take a wicket though, removing Ravi Ashwin for 68 to bag his five-fer.

India started the day on 266 for six, with Ashwin and Pujara well set overnight. Their partnership of 111 came to an end when Ashwin went early on, though Pujara then added another 35 with Harbhajan Singh, who took the attack to the bowlers and made 21.

Zaheer Khan blasted a six and a four at the death to push the score up a little further, leaving England a daunting four overs to face before lunch. Cook and Compton reduced the deficit by seven runs before the lunch interval.

It was a slow but steady afternoon session for England as they made only 70. They would have been happy with that but for the late wickets, given how dry, cracked and dusty the wicket was. Cook looked particularly good, hitting six boundaries and a six in his 43 at tea.

Pietersen and Cook did a superb job in the evening session, putting on a stand of 110 as India's spinners could not find a way through their defences. Pietersen was a joy to watch as he muscled the ball around the park.