James Anderson routed India’s top order at Edgbaston here on Saturday to leave England on the brink of a crushing victory that would see them replace the tourists at the top of the ICC’s Test Championship table.
Anderson took four for 35 as India collapsed to 116 for six at lunch on the third day of the third Test, still 370 runs adrift of making England bat again.
England were now on course for a second successive win inside four days and a victory that would give them an unbeatable 3-0 lead in this four-match series.
Only Sachin Tendulkar offered much resistance Saturday with 40 before his latest quest to score an unprecedented 100th international hundred ended in unlucky fashion when he was run-out backing up.
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was nine not out at lunch and Amit Mishra unbeaten on 16.
The tourists resumed on 35 for one after Alastair Cook’s Test-best 294 had propelled England to a massive 710 for seven declared — their highest Test innings total for 73 years.
Gautam Gambhir was 14 not out and Rahul Dravid 18 not out after India had lost Virender Sehwag for a ‘king pair’ to Anderson late Friday.
Anderson then struck again with his first ball Saturday as India lost Gambhir without addition when he edged to Graeme Swann at second slip.
Dravid, like Gambhir, failed to add to his overnight score when, after Anderson angled the ball in towards him only for it to cut away outside off stump, he was caught behind by wicketkeeper Matt Prior.
New batsman Venkatsai Laxman could only manage two before, pushing tentatively outside off-stump, he too fell to Anderson.
That meant the 29-year-old Lancastrian had taken three wickets for 16 runs in 27 balls to leave India 56 for four.
Laxman’s exit gave Anderson his 237th Test wicket, one more than the late Sir Alec Bedser, also a fast-medium bowler, as he moved up into seventh place in England’s all-time list.
Suresh Raina threatened briefly when he lofted Swann over cover.
But next ball the off-spinner had the left-hander lbw for 10 as thr batsman misread his arm-ball.
Tendulkar, who had looked in good touch while striking eight fours, was then run-out after Dhoni drove at Swann only for the bowler to deflect the ball onto the non-striker’s stumps with the ‘Little Master’ just shy of his ground.