Bresnan leads the onslaught as India are routed again

Yorkshire all-rounder amongst the wickets once more as tourists fail to bat out the opening day at Edgbaston

ENGLAND fast bowler Tim Bresnan dismissed India coach Duncan Fletcher’s claims that conditions were to blame for his side’s latest capitulation on the opening day of the third Test at Edgbaston.

Bresnan and Stuart Broad shared eight wickets as the tourists were bowled out for 224 – the fifth consecutive occasion on which they have failed reach 300 in the series – inside 63 overs and finished the day only 140 in credit with England 84 without loss at the close.

England undoubtedly benefited from the first use of an Edgbaston green top after captain Andrew Strauss won the toss, but India’s batsmen were largely architects of their own downfall, not that Fletcher saw it that way.

“Unfortunately that toss was pretty important,” said the man who masterminded England’s 2005 Ashes triumph.

“I have not seen three pitches, even when I was with England, that have swung and seamed around as much as these have]. Our guys are finding it difficult at the moment to handle the swing and seam.”

Bresnan, however, believed Fletcher was exaggerating the nature of a pitch, which looked anything but threatening while England’s openers Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook were making hay.

“As a seamer you look at the wicket and think ‘I’d prefer to bowl on there than watch someone bat on it’,” he said.

“But it didn’t really do that much. We were expecting it to be a bit quicker and seam a bit more than it did - so it’s a good effort.”

India had recovered well from the loss of the returning Virender Sehwag, who gloved his first ball to Matt Prior off Stuart Broad, but a clatter of wickets before lunch put England in control.

Bresnan accounted for both Gautam Gambhir and Rahul Dravid, while Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman both fell cheaply after lunch to Broad and James Anderson, respectively.

At one stage India were 111 for 7, but a brutal knock of 77 from skipper MS Dhoni threatened briefly to sway the momentum in India’s favour.

But that notion was dispatched by Strauss and Cook, who have both been short of runs of late, with the England skipper finishing unbeaten on 52 – his first half century in his last eight Tests – to round off a near perfect day.