(Note to readers: we will post live match updates, analysis and expert views through the course of the Edgbaston Test. New updates will appear on top. Please hit the refresh button periodically)
11:25 pm End of play - Day 2 - England 456-3
India's annihilation was summed up in the last over of Day 2 when another catch went a begging - the 4th of the day - Dravid thew his cap down in disgust after dropping Morgan in the slips off Suresh Raina. England have batted India out of the Test and it will take an enormous effort for them to even salvage a draw out of it. We'll be back for all the action on Day 3.
10: 55 pm England’s lead has crossed the 200-run mark and they still have 7 wickets handy. India have let down 3 chances in the field and despite a good effort from Praveen Kumar, the bowling hasn’t been able to dislodge the now mighty English batting lineup.
9:45 pm - We may have acquired independence from England on 15th August 1947 but come this 15th August it looks like we’ll be handing over the No 1 tag to them.
Kevin Pietersen just survived a caught behind appeal off Sreesanth. The Indians thought he had nicked it, but a review showed it was just pad. The event also prompted KP to engage in a bit of a chat with Rahul Dravid and went to the extent of rubbing his bat onto Dravid’s biceps. Was he trying to prove there was no Vaseline?
Some reactions to India’s performance coming in on Twitter:
@GabbbarSingh: With such a bowling attack, the task of taking the other 8 wickets seems as easy as whitewashing the Statue of Liberty with a toothbrush.
@SpiceBoxofEarth: When was the last time England bossed a marquee series like this at home? The 1985 Ashes?
@SANJAYMANJREKAR: Okay, now this is getting really embarrassing.
8:45 pm Tea, Day 2 - England 319/2
Alastair Cook has the tendency to score big hundreds, especially over the past couple years. He is now the leading run scorer in the 2011 calender year with an average hovering around 80 per innings for this year.
7:55 pm Wicket number 2 for India came when Ian Bell was cleaned up by Praveen Kumar for 34. This was after Bell was dropped on 30 by Dravid who will have now heaved a sigh of relief.
Some comments coming in from readers -
“Team India is missing cheerleaders and night parties after the matches. Selectors should select cheerleaders too, one for one.”
“Gary Kirsten, please come back”
“Don't worry Champions League is not far away; our players will do much better and give their 200% in a T20 tournament.”
“It is summer of 1974 being repeated. Terrible cricket by Indians, missed reception of the High Commissioner etc. The only thing missing is the accusation of shop lifting!!”
6:50 pm India have finally FINALLY got a breakthrough - Strauss departs for 87. The 186-run opening stand was the 11th 100+ run partnership between Strauss and Cook. India getting a stroke of luck for the wicket taking delivery was a no-ball that went undetected. This after Amit Mishra had already bowled four no-balls. Strauss' wicket has brought local boy Ian Bell to the crease.
Here’s what Tony Greig had to say on Twitter - @greigtalks: Strauss out to a no ball at last India gets a break no wonder India don’t want to use technology
5: 40 pm Lunch , Day 2 – England 157 for no loss
Things going to plan for England, with out any luck for India. A poor spell from Sreesanth hasn’t helped the situation.
Reactions on Twitter:
@cricketingview: Sreesanth - 3 no balls, 4 half volleys, and one drifting down leg in 1 over. McGrath probably completed entire tours with fewer errors.
@sidvee Sreesanth is bowling some high-quality filth
@deepakyen If Bhajji was still around, would he have slapped Sreesanth?
5:15 pm The Indian bowlers have come out with more energy than yesterday and are striving to get a breakthrough but things haven’t gone their way so far. Strauss and Cook's opening partnership has crossed 130 - their previous highest opening partnership in this series was just 23. So England have solved the one problem area they were facing.
Some opinions coming in from our readers:
Narendra Gannamani: It’s common that people praise India when they perform well & criticize when they are not up to the mark. But one thing is sure that Indian cricketers should improve fitness and fielding.
Jayakrishnan Variyathodiy: Nothing to worry about. Don’t forget that we are world champions. Things will change – wait and see.
Suuni: There is a lot of tom-tom about the so called great Sachin Tendulkar. He has been an absolute failure .He has not been able to perform in all the 3 tests. What is the use of having records when they do not fructify into winning matches for India? He should be dropped to make ways for others. Considering the fact that Sachin was rested for the West Indies series, he should be more prepared for the match….Very sad state and very embarrassing to watch India getting clobbered
Umesh: When they win we give money and rewards, now they are losing so give punishment, fine, penalty and throw them out of team.
4:20 pm Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook have started off proceedings looking calm and confident.
England do have a fairly good chance of laying their hands on the No 1 Test status. But what does being No 1 mean? Will they get a trophy? Not quite – Instead it’s the replica of an ancient bludgeoning instrument – Emma John writes in the Guardian about the mace
While you’re at it you can also take a look at some other Cricket trophies – The good, the bad and the weird.
3:50 pm Play on Day 2 should begin in another five mintues.
Brickbats from all across are headed in the direction of the Indian team -
On Twitter - @cricketanalyst Have just realised why India didn't want hawkeye. They knew they'd lose even more wickets with the bat and bowlers not good enough to get lbws
From some of our readers:
Deepak: The Indians are missing killer instinct due to excessive cricket and feeling tired, mentally lazy and ignoring cricket.
Bharat Singh: The poor preparation for the English tour and busy schedule of IPL and then WI and England and fatigueness of the players is sole responsible for poor performance of the Indian Team. Indian team should have been in England about twenty days in advance and should have played 2-3 practice matches …The cricketers need discipline…England deserve No 1 in TestS and they have earned it.
3:20 pm The covers are off and though there will be a delayed start, play is expected to begin soon. The Indian bowlers will hope that the classic English conditions - cool, ovecast - will aid them in bagging early wickets. If not, it could be a long day in the field.
@VaughanCricket spoke too soon when he tweeted this a short while ago -
Rain is supposed to miss Edgbasten.. Should get a full days play.. England will score over 300 runs today.. Good morning btw
It’s started drizzling in Birmingham and Indian fans aren’t complaining. England would be hoping for the sun to come out and conditions to clear up so they can pile on the runs and take firm control of the 3rd Test.
Unlike the Edgbaston of yesteryears, A 32 million pound redevelopment plan (out of which 600,000 was spent on a new drainage system) has ensure that the square dry out quickly even if there are rain interruptions. Edgbaston was earlier notorious for draining slowly.