England's Tim Bresnan appeals unsuccessfully for the wicket of India's Rahul Dravid during the first day of the third test at the Edgbaston cricket ground in Birmingham. Bresnan said it would be nice to "give something positive back" as police across the country prepared for a fifth successive night of rioting.
©AFP - Glyn Kirk
BIRMINGHAM, England (AFP) - England seamer Tim Bresnan said it would be nice to "give something positive back" as police across the country prepared for a fifth successive night of rioting.
The Yorkshire seamer put a smile on the face of many in a sell-out 25,000 crowd at Edgbaston by taking four wickets for 62 runs on the first day of the third Test against India here on Wednesday.
Stuart Broad took four for 53 as India were dismissed for 224 with only Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the tourists' captain, offering much in the way of meaningful resistance with 77.
England, already 2-0 up in this four-match series and just one win away from replacing India at the top of the ICC's Test Championship table, then set the seal on a near-perfect day, in cricket terms, by closing on 84 without loss.
At stumps, England captain Andrew Strauss was 52 not out, his best Test score of the season, and fellow opener Alastair Cook unbeaten on 27.
But spectators at Edgbaston would have been well-aware of events beyond the boundary, with Birmingham one of the worst-hit cities in England following several days' of rioting and looting that started in London on Saturday after police shot dead a man two days earlier.
Indeed in Birmingham, Britain's second biggest city, police said they had arrested a man on suspicion of murder after an incident in which a car was driven into a group of people and three Asian men were killed.
"It would be nice to win and just give something positive back to England," Bresnan told reporters after stumps."
However, he added: "I would not say we are motivated by what is happening. We are going about our business as if nothing is happening and that is the right way to do it. We have got a job to do like anyone else."
Although England won the toss and fielded first under overcast skies, Bresnan denied they had received excessive help from the conditions and insisted the ball had 'done' less than during the hosts' crushing 319-run second Test win at Trent Bridge.
"To be fair it did not do that much. Maybe they (India) thought it seamed a bit more than it actually did. It swung a bit but not like at Trent Bridge.
"Like my old (Yorkshire) coach Steve Oldham said 'hit the top of off and stand it on the seam'. It works, if you hang in the right areas the ball will do enough."
India coach Duncan Fletcher, previously in charge of England, observed how his old side's seam attack were hunting well as a pack and it was a point independently echoed by Bresnan.
"It is nice when the wickets are shared around a bit," Bresnan said. "It has that hunting in a pack mentality to it.
"We do enjoy each other's success, which is great for team spirit."
Injury-hit India have yet to make 300 this series and Fletcher said conditions had worked against his side, who played just the one warm-up match in England beforehand after arriving from the very different environment of the West Indies.
"I haven't played on three wickets, even when I was with England, where the ball has swung around so much for three Tests in a row," said Fletcher.
"We haven't been able to post a score that gives our bowlers something to bowl at," the Zimbabwean added.
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