India pushed to the edge
England close on top ranking as seamers again run through tourists
Last Updated: 11/08/11 10:55pm
England seamers Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan each claimed four wickets as India were dismissed for 224 on day one of the third Test at Edgbaston.
Holding a 2-0 lead after comprehensive wins at Lord's and Trent Bridge, England came into the match knowing another victory would seal both series honours and see them overhaul India at the top of the Test rankings.
After Andrew Strauss won the toss and opted to bowl under cloudy skies on a green-tinged pitch, the tourists slumped to 111-7 by mid-afternoon.
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit a boundary-laden 77 from 96 balls to at least haul his side above 200, but England reached 84-0 in reply by the close to cap yet another day of dominance in the series.
Broad (4-53) got the hosts off to the perfect start by dismissing fit-again Virender Sehwag for a first-ball duck and later returned to bag the prize scalp of Sachin Tendulkar.
Bresnan (4-62) saw off Gautam Gambhir (38) and Rahul Dravid (22) as India faltered with the loss of three wickets for 16 runs in the half-hour before lunch - and he then nipped out VVS Laxman too, the second of three more batsmen to fall for the addition of only 19 in early afternoon.
Sehwag, in only his second innings in the past three months following shoulder surgery, tried to leave his and Broad's first delivery and was eventually given out via a DRS review when Hotspot indicated the ball had brushed his top glove on the way through to Matt Prior.
England were then shut out by a second-wicket stand of 51 between Dravid and Gambhir - until the latter inside-edged an attempted off-drive at Bresnan on to his leg-stump.
Broad had Tendulkar held at third slip by James Anderson for one and Bresnan capped a fine morning's work with a delivery which appeared to be angling in before holding its line to knock back Dravid's off-stump.
India went to lunch wobbling on 75-4 and it was soon a full-scale crisis when Suresh Raina, Laxman and Amit Mishra joined the procession in quick time.
Raina (4) was bowled driving at a full delivery from Anderson (2-61), Laxman - having hit a flurry of post-lunch boundaries in his 31 - pulled straight to fine-leg off Bresnan and Mishra (4) edged behind to give Broad his third wicket.
But India's eighth-wicket pair, Dhoni and Praveen Kumar, counter-attacked to add 84 in 14 overs as England ceded control for the only time in the day.
Kumar hit four fours and a six in his 26 off 39 balls but was undone by another excellent use of the DRS by Strauss, after Kumar's thin edged hook to Prior went undetected by the umpires but not Hotspot.
Dhoni completed his first half-century of the series from 62 balls and had dispatched 10 fours and three sixes by the time he was ninth out, swiping to Strauss at first slip off Broad.
Anderson ended India's innings with the second delivery of the next over, the 63rd of the day, when Sharma's back foot forcing stroke was somehow held by Cook at silly point as he turned away in an effort to avoid it. India have now failed to post a score of 300 in five attempts in the series.
England openers Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook encountered few alarms as they reduced their side's deficit to just 140 in the 25 overs before stumps.
Strauss (52no) was the aggressor, racing to his first half-century since January from 76 balls, while Cook's 27 not out represents his best effort of the series.