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Bresnan delighted with England's day

Investec Test Series

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Tim Bresnan & Rahul Dravid

Tim Bresnan bowls Rahul Dravid with a beauty that moved away to clip off stump. He joked he had only produced better in the nets

England would certainly have settled for the strong position they hold in third npower Test at the start of play, according to Tim Bresnan.

Bresnan followed up his five-wicket haul at Trent Bridge with four victims today at Edgbaston as India were dismissed for 224. The hosts then closed on 84 without loss, only 140 in arrears.

Bresnan, who took 4-62, and Stuart Broad, who claimed 4-53, rewarded Andrew Strauss’ decision to bowl first by reducing the tourists to 111 for seven.

Although Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s entertaining 77 frustrated Strauss’ side, they unquestionably enhanced their prospects of winning the series here and taking India’s number-one Test ranking.

“It’s a great day of Test cricket for us, to stick them in and bowl them out for 224 and be 80-odd for none is pretty much a day you would take if you were offered it at the start of play,” Bresnan said.

Bresnan believes England’s success with the ball came in spite of limited assistance for the seamers, particularly in comparison to the previous Test.

“To be fair it didn’t really do that much,” he added. “We were expecting it to be a little bit quicker and maybe seam a little bit more than it actually did so, yeah, it’s a good effort. It swung a bit but not overly like it did at Trent Bridge.”

After Broad removed opener Virender Sehwag first ball, Gautam Gambhir and Rahul Dravid responded with a fifty partnership.

Bresnan, who forced Gambhir to play on for 38, suggested he, Broad and James Anderson may have tried too hard in overcast conditions.

“We maybe went searching for a little bit early but once we got back in our bubble, bang in our areas we found it a little bit easier,” he said.

Bresnan, who joked he has only bowled better deliveries than the beauty that moved away to clip Dravid’s off stump in the nets, reaffirmed England’s team ethic.

Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir has his defence breached by Bresnan. Duncan Fletcher thinks conditions were more helpful than Bresnan let on

“It’s definitely got that hunting in pack mentality to it,” he said. We do enjoy each other’s success, which is great going forward with team spirit.”

He added: “They’re a quality batting attack and they’ve got some great players – the stats and averages prove that.

“It doesn’t really matter where they’re playing it’s just, I think, our plans – we’ve them right as well and we delivered what we said we’re going to do.”

Bresnan also praised the facilities at revamped Edgbaston, placing it on a par with Lord’s and the MCG.

“It’s magnificent; I’d put it up there with probably top three in world playing areas from a preparation point of view,” he enthused.

India coach Duncan Fletcher hailed England’s seam attack. “They’re bowling well as unit, they’ve got good back-up and it’s an effective unit the way they have performed.”

Fletcher, who coached England from 1999 to 2007, defended his struggling batting stars, partly by claiming he has not seen such favourable seam-bowling conditions as during this series.

“There have been quite a few injuries that have set us back a little bit and it’s important when any side comes to England - not only India. We’ve seen them struggle early on with the swing and the seam,” he added.

“I haven’t played on three wickets, even when I was with England, where the ball has swung so much for three Test matches in a row.

“So it’s been pretty difficult for the batters to adapt. We haven’t been able to post a score for our bowlers to bowl at and that’s what we really need to look at.”

Fletcher also cited today’s toss as significant to England’s dominance. “It was pretty tough; unfortunately that toss was quite important,” he concluded.

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