x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

'Collective effort' by bowlers puts hosts back in the bubble

Bresnan and Broad took four wickets each with James Anderson taking the other two.

BIRMINGHAM // Tim Bresnan hailed "a very good day" after the England bowler took four wickets on the opening day against India at Edgbaston, with the tourists bowled out for 224.

In reply, the openers gave the hosts a solid start with an unbroken stand of 84 till stumps. Andrew Strauss, the captain, was on 52 with Alastair Cook at 27.

Earlier, both Bresnan and Stuart Broad, continued their good form from the second Test at Trent Bridge, as they took four wickets each with James Anderson taking the other two.

But the seamer told Sky Sports 1, it did not matter which of the team was among the wickets. "It was a very good day for us, we would have taken that bowling in these sort of conditions and being none down as well is fantastic," he said.

"It is a collective effort really, it doesn't really matter who gets the wickets as long as we take the wickets, and we did that today.

Broad gave the hosts a perfect start by dismissing Virender Sehwag for a first-ball duck this morning, and soon returned to also take the prize wicket of Sachin Tendulkar.

Bresnan saw off Gautam Gambhir and Rahul Dravid as India faltered with the loss of three wickets for 16 runs in the half-hour before lunch - and he then nipped out VVS Laxman too, the second of three more batsmen to fall for the addition of only 19 in early afternoon.

But Dhoni (77) set about counter-attacking the England seamers. Altering the length by advancing to Broad in particular, the India captain struck Anderson back over his head for six and clubbed Bresnan into the Eric Hollies stand at mid-wicket. A cover-drive off Graeme Swann for his seventh four brought up a 62-ball 50 - having taken 16 to get off the mark.

"We gave away some boundaries early on but we got back into our bubble and did the right things. We got the three wickets (before lunch) which is always nice if you can get a four-wicket session.

"It (the pitch) really didn't do too much. The pitch is playing all right so hopefully we can get stuck in and get a lead."

Bresnan also dismissed the suggestion that the England bowling attack had struggled in the evening session when Dhoni was scoring regular boundaries.

"I don't think we lost the plot, it is a patience game and there is always going to be a partnership down the bottom - but I think 224 on this pitch is great for us," he said.

"You are under pressure to take wickets but that is not the way we go about things, we just do what we can do and hopefully stick the balls in the right are as often enough and that is how we build the pressure up."

Kumar played some adventurous shots too. But Bresnan stuck to his guns, and it paid off when Kumar was caught behind to an attempted hook. England had to take the help of the DRS and Hotspot technology for the second time in the day to get that decision. Sehwag was the first.

It took only six overs after tea to conclude the India innings, Dhoni finally flailing an edge to slip and Alastair Cook somehow clinging on to a full-blooded force off the back foot at silly point to account for a disbelieving Ishant Sharma.

* Press Association