Eng v Ind live: third Test, Edgbaston, evening

England take a professional hold of the match

Close: Third Test, day one, Edgbaston
Match score: India 224 (MS Dhoni 77; SCJ Broad 4-53, TT Bresnan 4-62); England 84-0 (AJ Strauss 52*, AN Cook 27*) Full scorecard

Session score: India 19-2; England 84-0 England win session

After the fun of the afternoon, the brave and breezy hitting from MS Dhoni and Praveen Kumar, that nearly dragged India back into the game, England’s ruthless streak kicked in.

The stalemate tactics – seven or eight fielders on the boundary for Dhoni, who refused to take the single – finally paid off when one swipe too many ended up in the only slip’s hands, a reward for a full length from Broad.

Then Alastair Cook grabbed what could well become one of the great forgotten catches: a full-blooded, back-foot drive snagged in belly and forearms that did for Sharma. India were all out.

From then on, England were on top. The opening partnership – England’s only weak link so far this series, and that’s more to do with losing tosses than anything else – started carefully, continued confidently, then wished they could have kept batting all night.

No runs for the first four overs and a few close shouts but, by the close, England had scored at over three an over and convincingly won the day. Strauss ruthless on anything short with cuts and pulls; Cook, finding rhythm again, clinical with anything straight, drilling through midwicket.

This is a true partnership: Cook is looking to find some form following a dip, Strauss found fluency more quickly taking any pressure off Cook to score. He passed 50 off 76 balls and hit 10 fours. They have added 84.

The pair have clocked in for bed and they’ll be looking for breakfast in the morning.

Shot of the day MS Dhoni’s first six, smashed off James Anderson over mid on – from nowhere – all wrist, power and some real anger.

TFC of the day Graeme Swann’s bowling (he’s almost in the side for his batting and catching at the moment). Only the four overs and going at over five an over.

Claim of the day Geoff Boycott on TMS that he hit a six over the Eric Hollies Stand in a Championship game in the 1970s.

Catch of the day Alastair Cook. Smashed at him by Sharma at silly point and it somehow stuck – not that anyone noticed.

Cause of the day Cure Leukaemia Day – spectators wearing red in the Eric Hollies Stand in support – loads of them.

Architectural detail The floodlights of the new – and impressive – Edgbaston are in an ‘e’ shape, for Edgbaston …

Still waiting Sachin Tendulkar ct Anderson b Broad 1

In agreement “It’s definitely got that hunting in a pack mentality about it,” says Tim Bresnan on England’s bowlers. “They seem to hunt as a pack well,” says Indian coach Duncan Fletcher (through very gritted teeth).

Edward Craig is the deputy editor of The Cricketer magazine. Follow him on Twitter @Cricketer_Ed


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