The 32-year-old came to the crease with the tourists 16-2 after Nick Compton and Alastair Cook both fell and shared a 84-run partnership with Jonathan Trott before being eventually dismissed for 73.
Following the dismissals of Trott, Pietersen and Ian Bell, Matt Prior and debutant Joe Root steadied England with a solid 60, leaving the final Test finely balanced after the opening day.
“It’s the toughest wicket I’ve played Test cricket on in terms of trying to play strokes,” said Pietersen.
“But what the wicket’s going to do, I haven’t got a clue – it looks similar now to what it did when we started.”
Pietersen also reserved special praise for Root, 21, after the Sheffield-born batsman hit 31 from 110 balls to help England find a foothold in the Nagpur Test.
“Joe was brilliant,” said Pietersen. “He’s his own man; he played some lovely cricket shots and has a good head on his shoulders.
“Never judge anybody after a couple of hours batting for England, but he’s
shown signs of what could be a very good Test career. He didn’t need too much help, he came in there, and was scoring freely.
“He’s a good little player and a lovely man as well. He’s a good human being.”
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BIOGRAPHY: Anthony Martial