Birmingham: Indian bowlers had forlorn looks on their faces as England's batsmen milked them to take a substantial first-innings lead, but seamer Praveen Kumar was quite content after netting two wickets on the second day of the third Test here.

Praveen delivered a whopping 23 overs, returned with eight maidens and got the important wickets of Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen on a day when the English batsmen left the visiting bowlers gasping for breath.

"I love to bowl long spells," Praveen said after the day's play on Thursday.

"The ball was suddenly doing something and I was enjoying. The plan was to bowl in one area. The ball was moving when it was overcast but nothing much apart from that," he added.

India dropped quite a few catches during the day but Praveen seemed to have taken everything in his stride.

"Part of the game," was what he had to say when asked about the chances that went begging.

Alastair Cook, who signalled his return to form with a hundred after poor scores in the first two Tests, said the first one and half hour was crucial.

"The first hour and a half was tough but we knew it will get better," Cook said.