Cook hundred puts woeful India to the sword

India hadn't seen the best of Alastair Cook in the first two Tests. Now they have. His unbeaten 182, a 19th Test hundred, carried England into a position of complete control at Edgbaston as they built a lead of 232 with the prospect of plenty more to come. Cook added 187 for the first wicket alongside Andrew Strauss, while Kevin Pietersen contributed a lively half-century during India's worst day of the series with England closed on an imposing 456 for 3.

Cook's lean start to the series - 20 runs in four innings - was barely enough to constitute a problem, but the expectations on him are high after his run-scoring feats over the last 12 months. A year ago, midway through the Pakistan series, Cook was in the middle of a severe slump but this hundred was his third of the summer and fourth of the year. His century came from 213 balls and after a watchful, dogged, start both yesterday evening then in the morning session he was scoring freely through the leg side and also with both his cover drive and cut.

Yet it wasn't just Cook's normal shots that were on show. At one stage he played a reverse sweep off Amit Mishra having noted the vacant slip area, which also cost India the opportunity of dismissing Cook when he slashed through the gap on 94. He didn't offer a clear-cut life, although inside-edged Ishant Sharma over the stumps shortly after reaching his hundred and Sachin Tendulkar didn't appear to pick up the ball at mid-on when Cook clipped in the air on 165. He appeared on track to reach his second double hundred before the close, but was content to play out time and wait for a new day.