EDGBASTON — Tim Bresnan and Stuart Broad took four wickets apiece as England maintained their dominance over India on the opening day of the third Test at Edgbaston.
Only an aggressive 77 from captain Mahendra Dhoni saved the tourists from total ignominy as they recovered from 111-7 to post 224 all out after losing the toss and being asked to bat.
The total always looked below par on a good pitch, and Andrew Strauss (52) and Alastair Cook (27) were rarely troubled as they steered England to an imposing 84-0 by the close.
Cook survived a tight lbw appeal, but recovered his poise to provide able support to Strauss, who struck 10 fours on his way to his first half-century in nine Test innings.
After resounding victories at Lord’s and Trent Bridge, England have put themselves in a great position to secure the win they need to displace India from the top of the world Test rankings.
In five innings in the series, India have yet to reach 300 and once again England’s seamers ripped apart a top order supposedly strengthened by the return from injury of first-choice openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir.
Sehwag, billed as a potential game-changer for his ability to score quickly and heavily, went for a golden duck as he failed to get his hands out of the way of a rising delivery from Broad.
Umpire Steve Davis failed to see the deflection, but his not out verdict was overturned on review when the Hot Spot showed clear contact between glove and ball.
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Gambhir led a brief fightback, peppering the boundary rope with some elegant drives as India reached 47-1 in the first hour. But just when the visitors looked to be taking control of the session, an inside edge off Bresnan cannoned onto the left-hander’s off stump.
Sachin Tendulkar, still seeking that elusive 100th international century, faced eight balls for one run before pushing hard at Broad and edging to James Anderson at third slip.
And another one-sided session was complete when Bresnan fired a superb ball through Rahul Dravid’s defences on the stroke of lunch. —BBC