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England world's No 1 Test side

2011-08-13 16:23

Birmingham - James Anderson took four wickets as England became the world's number one Test side with a crushing innings and 242 run victory against India at Edgbaston on Saturday.

England's second successive win inside four days saw them take the third Test in emphatic fashion and gave them an unbeatable 3-0 lead in this four-match series.

It also meant they'd won this series by the two-match margin they needed to replace India at the top of the ICC's Test Championship table.

It is the first time England have occupied pole position since the table's creation in 2003.

India were dismissed for 244 in their second innings after man-of-the-match Alastair Cook's career-best 294 had propelled England to a massive first innings 710 for seven declared - their highest Test total in 73 years.

Only Sachin Tendulkar offered any top-order resistance on Saturday with 40 before his latest quest to score an unprecedented 100th international hundred ended in unlucky fashion when he was run-out backing up.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni finished on 74 not out and shared a stand of 75 with Praveen Kumar for the eighth wicket,

Kumar made 40, his Test-best score coming in just 18 balls with three sixes - all against off-spinner Graeme Swann - and five fours.

But the gutsy No 9 was merely delaying the inevitable.

India resumed on 35 for one after losing Virender Sehwag for a 'king pair' to Anderson late on Friday.

Anderson then struck twice early on Saturday to remove both Gautam Gambhir and Rahul Dravid for their overnight scores of 14 and 18 respectively.

Dravid, caught behind, seemed uncertain as to whether he'd edged the ball but walked off without reviewing the decision.

New batsman Venkatsai Laxman could only manage two before, pushing tentatively outside off-stump, he too fell to Anderson.

That meant the 29-year-old Lancastrian had taken three wickets for 16 runs in 27 balls to leave India 56 for four.

Laxman's exit gave Anderson his 237th Test wicket, one more than the late Sir Alec Bedser, also a fast-medium bowler, as he moved up into seventh place in England's all-time list.

Suresh Raina was then lbw for 10 as he misread Swann's arm-ball.

Raina summed up India's mental, as well as physical, tiredness by asking for a review of his dismissal even though, thanks to Indian objections to ball-tracking technology, lbw's cannot be referred in this series.

Tendulkar, who had looked in good touch while striking eight fours, was then run-out after Dhoni drove at Swann only for the bowler to deflect the ball onto the non-striker's stumps with the 'Little Master' just shy of his ground.

India reached lunch on 116 for six, having lost five wickets for 81 runs during Saturday's morning session.

And that became 130 for seven when Amit Mishra was well caught by a leaping Stuart Broad at mid-off following a drive against Swann.

Kumar -- primarily a medium-pacer and one of the few India players to show much fight with either bat or ball this series - was eventually out when he top-edged a pull off seamer Broad and was caught by Ravi Bopara.

Tim Bresnan then ensured an India side boasting one of the world's strongest top-orders, who've yet to make 300 this series, were bowled out inside 56 overs when he dismissed last man Shanthakumaran Sreesanth.

The fourth and final Test at The Oval starts on Thursday.

AFP

Comments
  • tdk25 - 2011-08-13 16:59

    Congratulations you bloody agents!!

      TypicalDarkie - 2011-08-13 17:05

      This is Temporary, let them enjoy it for the moment, once the real nations play (Proteas) that wont last for long, hehehe, Go Proteas!!!!

  • Valis - 2011-08-13 17:03

    Don't they mean South Africa B?

      TypicalDarkie - 2011-08-13 17:09

      Indeed thats what they really meant to say

      Arthur - 2011-08-14 06:58

      Maybe the Proteas are South Africa B being ranked only third and all that?

  • Thrive - 2011-08-13 18:05

    Congratulations England and well dissevered. Six successive series wins and a complete annihilation of the Indians. Hope they can complete the whitewash 4-0.

  • FerretGee - 2011-08-13 18:07

    Whats the point of Test rankings when the teams don't play each other for a couple of years at a time, when did they last beat South Africa for example. Surely to be number one at any sport, you have to beat all the rest ove a season.

      TypicalDarkie - 2011-08-13 19:53

      Precisely, they cant really be getting big heads when they havent beat everyone, let them still be number 1 in say 2yrs time having played every test playing nation then I will be first to step up and sing their praises, till then, let them celebrate the victories and keep an eye on the rest of the playing field

      Darren Taylor - 2011-08-13 20:40

      Drew 1-1 AWAY to SAfrica in their last series.

  • thetruth - 2011-08-13 18:40

    England,just like the Indians...only good at home...and as for our chokers,no hope of no. 1 spot...Although i dont like Australia,theyre still consistently the best...

      Freddie - 2011-08-13 20:22

      "England,just like the Indians...only good at home" Err.... Did you miss the last Ashes series, in Australia?

      Darren Taylor - 2011-08-13 20:46

      "Australia are still consistently the best" Yes, at losing by an innings. By saying England only good at home shows you are either 1) new to Test cricket or 2) don't know what you are talking about. I hope you come under the number 1 bracket.

  • Viscount - 2011-08-13 18:59

    Superb effort, chaps! 1. England 2. Daylight 3. The Rest Huzzah!

  • Freddie - 2011-08-13 19:58

    "England to a massive first innings 710 for seven declared" Congratulations to the writer of this piece for the correct use of the English language! Most recent commentators that I've read would have written: "England to a massive 710 for seven declared, in their 1st innings".

  • Utopian - 2011-08-13 23:56

    England deserve the No.1 spot in an era of rather weak test cricket. South Africa simply does not play enough cricket to be number one. Our team is almost permanently on leave.

  • Johan - 2011-08-14 03:42

    For Proteas sake, I hope they whitewash them, at least we'll be able to cling to second in the rankings then.

  • Ingwe - 2011-08-14 10:48

    Some measure of England's ranking can be found looking at the individual player rankings, especially for the bowlers. England currently have 6 bowlers ranked in the top 20 (4 in the top 10) in the world; quite some achievement given that they only play 4 bowlers in a match. No other team has more than 3. Arguably England also has the strongest batting line up in the world now with 3 in the top 10; a feat only South Africa can match

  • Freddie - 2011-08-14 11:45

    An opinion from one Mr. G. Boycott, who knows a bit about the game: "The trick for England now is how long they can stay number one. I can see them beating India at the Oval, giving them another thumping, and the only real test will come next summer when they play South Africa in a three match series which ought to be five Test matches. They have quality bowlers in Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel plus Jacques Kallis as a back up. They also have top batsmen. The next test after that will be in January 2013 when England go to play India in India. By then India may have sorted themselves out and play like the India we know."

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