* England destroy India by innings and 242 runs
* Home team take unassailable 3-0 lead in series
(Adds Lorgat quotes)
By Richard Sydenham
BIRMINGHAM, England, Aug 13 England surged to
the top of the world rankings after crushing India by an innings
and 242 runs in the third test on Saturday to secure their sixth
consecutive series win.
Fast bowler James Anderson claimed four for 85 as India were
dismissed for 244 after lunch on the fourth day at Edgbaston,
giving the home team a 3-0 lead in the four-match series.
India's batsmen capitulated for the third successive match
against England's penetrative attack.
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was India's top scorer for the
second time in the test, with 74 not out, but the game was over
when Shanthakumaran Sreesanth edged Tim Bresnan to Kevin
Pietersen in the gully.
"There's not many bowling units better than ours in the
world," said home captain Andrew Strauss at the presentation
ceremony after his side clinched their fifth biggest victory by
"It's been a goal of ours to reach the top of the rankings
for a long time. It's a great testament to everyone involved in
the England set up and fills me with a lot of pride."
England's series victory takes them top of the test rankings
ahead of South Africa and previous leaders India.
With the sun shining and the pitch encouraging spin, India
were presented with good batting conditions to stage a fightback
but were unable to cope with Anderson.
They resumed on 35 for one and the fast bowler had opener
Gautam Gambhir (14) caught by Graeme Swann at second slip off
the batsman's first ball of the day.
The score then became 40 for three when the usually reliable
Rahul Dravid (18) edged behind off the same bowler.
Anderson reserved his best delivery for VVS Laxman (2) as he
shaped the ball from middle stump to off and found an edge to
That was 56 for four and it became 87 for five when Suresh
Raina (10) was lbw to Swann.
Master batsman Sachin Tendulkar (40) looked at his best for
the 95 minutes he occupied the crease, hitting eight boundaries
including an elegant straight drive off Bresnan.
But he was dismissed in the cruellest of fashions when a
Dhoni drive was deflected on to the non-striker's stumps by
Swann's fingertips. Tendulkar was just out of his ground and the
third umpire sealed his fate.
Among the rattle of wickets perhaps the most bizarre sight
was wicketkeeper Matt Prior opting to don a helmet and stand up
to Anderson as a tactic to prevent Tendulkar from standing
outside his crease. It lasted one ball.
After lunch Amit Mishra's brief resistance ended when he
drove Swann to mid-on for 22.
Praveen Kumar went down fighting with 40 from 18 balls with
He added 75 for the eighth wicket with Dhoni from just 44
deliveries before mis-timing a pull against Stuart Broad to be
caught at cover.
Broad then trapped Ishant Sharma lbw for a duck and Bresnan
Haroon Lorgat, chief executive of the International Cricket
Council (ICC), praised England.
"On behalf of the ICC I would like to congratulate Andrew
Strauss, coach Andy Flower and the whole team for becoming the
number-one ranked test team in the world," Lorgat said in a news
"Through careful planning and a series of clinical
performances they have deservedly achieved their goal. They were
clearly the most consistent side in the world over the past few
years as evidenced by 19 out of 30 wins and only four losses."
The capacity crowd celebrated, some more wildly than others,
as scores of fans in fancy dress performed a conga.
There were spectators in gorilla and penguin suits and one
man was dressed in a banana outfit.
Alastair Cook's career-best 294 laid the foundations on
Friday when England racked up a massive 710 for seven declared
in reply to India's first innings 224.
"Congratulations to England," said Dhoni. "We've not been up
to the mark in this series and the margin of defeats have been
getting bigger and bigger.
"There are areas we need to improve in the side ... but
overall to play really good cricket you have to be consistent
and that's what England have done."
The final test at the Oval starts on Thursday.
(Editing by Tony Jimenez. To comment on this
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