England win series, top Test rankings
England thrashed India by an innings and 242 runs to clinch an emphatic series victory and usurp the tourists at the top of the world Test rankings at Edgbaston.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni's side attempted to salvage some pride after having been comprehensively outplayed for the third Test running, but another clinical bowling display ensured England won with a day and a session to spare to seal a convincing 3-0 series lead.
James Anderson took four wickets as India slumped to 244 all out and Andrew Strauss's side were utterly ruthless as they assumed top spot in the world for the first time since the inception of the ICC Test rankings. England's victory was by the 15th biggest margin in Test match history.
India had scant chance of delaying England for long, it seemed, in any case. But after Anderson had shifted Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, the tourists spiralled to an early innings defeat by a landslide margin.
After Alastair Cook's tour de force 294 in the hosts' 710 for seven declared, it seemed highly likely this would be England's long-awaited coronation day. That became almost a given once, as last night with the instant wicket of Virender Sehwag, India got off to an ominously bad start - on the way from 35 for one to a hapless lunchtime 116 for six, still 370 runs behind.
Following a Graeme Swann maiden, Anderson - who had shifted Sehwag first ball to sentence him to a king pair yesterday - needed just one ball at Gambhir. The left-hander nibbled at one slanted dangerously across him and edged low to second slip, where Swann made no mistake away to his left.
Sachin Tendulkar was therefore needed much earlier than India would have wished. He narrowly missed his second ball, a fast outswinger which whistled into Matt Prior's gloves, and then chiselled his third between himself and leg-stump off an inside edge for an opening single.
India badly needed Tendulkar and Dravid to take the sting out of the situation, as England sensed a quick kill under cloud cover - but 'The Wall' crumbled in Anderson's next over, via an apparently thin edge behind. Dravid appeared unconvinced he had made contact, but did not resort to DRS - and Anderson had two wickets for one run in eight balls.
The Lancastrian paceman had to wait another six overs to make it four out of four, another perfect outswinger seeing off Laxman caught behind.
After a spell of 6-2-17-3 this morning, Anderson gave way to Bresnan - and discovered for sure soon afterwards that he would not be taking all 10, when Swann ended a minor counter-attack from Tendulkar and Suresh Raina by trapping the left-hander lbw pushing forward to a straight-on delivery. Rather comically, Raina requested that the decision be referred but, due to the decision to boycott DRS for lbw decisions by the BCCI, he did not have the right to do so.
Swann was to have a hand too, literally, in the next wicket - an outrageous and dispiritingly symbolic piece of misfortune for Tendulkar, summing up as well as anything so far this summer a tour on which nothing has gone right for India.
There was nothing the 'Little Master' could do when his captain Dhoni drove Swann straight back, and the off-spinner deflected the ball on to the wickets with Tendulkar unable to ground his bat before being run out at the non-striker's end. It was a hugely unfortunate manner in which to depart for the Little Master, who is left still awaiting his elusive 100th international century.
Amit Mishra provided fleeting resistance as he plundered a swift 22 off 28 balls before Swann had him caught by Broad, and India's sudden assault was taken to a new level by the charismatic Praveen Kumar.
The number eight was almost caught slogging his first delivery, and he continued in the same vein to hammer a belligerent 40 off just 18 deliveries as Swann, in particular, saw his bowling treated with very little respect.
Kumar's entertaining cameo was eventually ended as he sliced a short delivery from Broad straight up into the air after having copped a fierce blow on the right thumb from Anderson, and Ishant Sharma could only survive eight deliveries before falling for a duck and India's defeat was sealed as Sreesanth fended a short ball from Bresnan to Kevin Pietersen at gully.
England celebrated jubilantly as Edgbaston erupted, and the hosts were crowned the world's number one side having clinched a comprehensive series victory.