The Enemy Camp: England run riot at Edgbaston

Yahoo cricket editorial blogs

(Note to readers: 'The Enemy Camp' will be the tongue-in-cheek name for Yahoo! Cricket's coverage of the English press during India's tour of England.)

Seamers Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan took four wickets each as India continued with their struggle against England in the Test series. Skipper MS Dhoni rescued India from the depths of 111 for seven to 224 in 62.2 overs. Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook took England to 84 without loss in reply to India's modest first innings 224, a deficit of 140 runs, at Edgbaston. Perfect day for England cricket team as police across the country prepared for a fifth successive night of rioting.

Simon Hughes says the Indian batsmen played like men expecting to fail. Excerpts from his column in The Daily Telegraph -

England bowl to carefully laid plans. They bowl in partnerships. All teams attempt to do this, of course. It is just that this England are exceptional at sticking to the programme devised for them by their bowling coach David Saker.

They stuck religiously to a channel they like to call 'fifth stump' (two stumps' width wide of off stump). It is a teasing line that says, 'Come and get me!' Provided the length is good, chasing such balls is a risk. An older generation of bowlers might have strived to bowl straighter, hoping for a smidgen of movement either way and some potential lbws, given Edgbaston's traditional low bounce.

But this England do it their way. They know taking wickets in the modern game is about preying on a batsman's patience rather than seeking magic balls.

Writing for the BBC Jonathan Agnew talks about Stuart Broad's concentration and explains why England are all over India.

Broad was the pick of the England bowlers. He just keeps bowling down the right channel and moving the ball away. Tim Bresnan wasn't quite as tidy as he was at Trent Bridge, but he still took four wickets.

You don't get to number one by accident. India have character and a huge amount of talent that has got them there, and I don't think they want to relinquish it very keenly. But they haven't looked full of energy and life. This series has had so much hype, but as yet it has not lived up to its billing in terms of India's performance.

Tim Bresnan, who took four wickets, denied England received excessive help from the overcast conditions.

It is nice when wickets are shared around a bit as it has that hunting in a pack mentality to it, he said. We do enjoy each other's success which is great going forward for team spirit. It is good to watch your mate get a five for or have a really good day with the bat. It is a great day's Test cricket for us. To stick them in and bowl them out for 224 and be 80 odd for none is a day you would take if you got offered it at start of play.

David Hopps of the Guardian writes how the Edgbaston Test has provided respite from the upheaval of the past few days.

Seven hours at a Test match was an opportunity to become absorbed in something different. There was talk of spectators who had become caught up in the riots, whose houses had been broken into, or shops damaged, and as the crowd became silent one wondered if thoughts were straying elsewhere. Then Gautam Gambhir dragged Tim Bresnan on to his stumps, driving, and the crowd roared its approval. It was a powerful, communal roar. It has rarely sounded so good.

Vic Marks of the Guardian on how Indian skipper MS Dhoni was forced to play his natural last.

Whereupon Dhoni did what Dhoni does best. He played some shots. Some were measured, almost delicate. He waited and waited some more for an over-pitched off-break from Graeme Swann, so that he could punch it past the left hand of extra cover with the minimum of effort and the maximum of power.

Some were plain brutal. He thumped a blameless delivery from Jimmy Anderson towards the Bullring, an acceptable act of violence that ended with the ball in the stands. Then he shuffled down the pitch to drag a ball from Bresnan over the mid-wicket boundary, in the general direction of Selly Oak.

Jon Culley of The Independent believes Tim Bresnan has immense hunger to reach the top.

Bresnan, like his captain Andrew Strauss, had ended his first eight Test matches on the winning side. It is difficult to imagine how he could have been left out here even had Tremlett recovered from the back and hamstring problems that caused his absence in Nottingham.

Writing for the Daily Mail, Nasser Hussain explains how impressive England just keeps destroying India.

You can quibble about the eighth-wicket stand of 84 between MS Dhoni and Praveen Kumar if you like, but the bottom line is England have bowled out India for under 300 five times out of five in this series.

Yes, that's India - the team generally regarded around the world as boasting the most glittering batting line-up of the lot.

Other interesting reads -

How England ripped through India's top order at Edgbaston

Is this England's greatest side?

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England's cricketers will get a mace to go with their kingly crown

England move giant step closer to No 1 after near-perfect day

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Crowd makes Edgbaston Test special