England Dominate In Birmingham
England Dominate In Birmingham
The third test began at Edgbaston today between England and India, in the shadow of trying times as the UK attempts toe to terms with the wide spreading riots of recent days. Andrew Strauss, for the first time in the series, won the toss and put the Indians into bat first on what looked like a pitch that would offer an advantage to the bowlers. The England team had one change. Bopara replaced the injured Trott, he came in at No.5 and Ian Bell moved up to No3. The Indian team were bolstered by the return of Sehwag and also Mishra and Ghambir, replacing Harbhajan and Yuvraj respectively. Both of whom have flown back to India with injuries.
With the Indians trailing 2-0 in the four match series they needed to get off to a good start. Unfortunately, Sehwag only lasted a mere 6 minutes at the crease after he edged a delivery from Broad into the gloves of Matt Prior. This brought India's most consistent batsmen to the wicket, Raul Dravid and he along with Ghambir proceed to fight back with some superb stroke play, sending the ball to all parts. The pair put on 58 runs in the first 20 overs before Gambhir was bowled by an unplayable delivery from Tim Bresnan for 38. The fall of Ghambir brought about what has been an all too familiar collapse from India in this series so far. Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman, Raina and Mishra all fell in a short period of time leaving the Indian's 111-7 and staring down the barrel with still less than one tenth of the match played.
M.S Dhoni, the Indian crickets talisman then arrived at the crease. So far in the series he has been woefully short of form and this was the perfect time for him to deliver. Dhoni proceeded to take the game to England and went on the attack almost immediately, despite his teams precarious position. He was ably assisted by Kumar, who produced a very resolute innings to back up his captain's assault on the English seam bowlers. With the score approaching 200, it was clear to see that Strauss and the England team were losing their early grip on the game. However, an excellent delivery from Bresnan removed Kumar and went a long way to easing their concerns. Dhoni still continued his one man mission and took India well past 200 before he was finally out for 77 (from just 96 balls), swinging wildly at a wide delivery from Broad. The Indian innings wrapped up with a score of 224 just after tea with the fall of Sharma. Both Bresnan and Broad shone having picked up 4 wickets each and Anderson the other 2.
England started their reply with Strauss and Cook both searching for some form in this series, in conditions that were still seamer friendly. After playing 4 overs without putting a run on the board, their response was almost text-book as the pair accumulated runs with effortless ease against the weakened Indian seam attack. Strauss reached his first 50 of the series before the close of play, looking just as solid as any time so far in the series. England ended the days play on 84-0 and will surely look to press home their advantage tomorrow and clinch a series victory that will take them to the number one spot in the world.