England take top spot but Yorkshiremen unimpressed

England win Test against India Eoin Morgan

After thrashing India Andrew Strauss’s team are number one in the world

BY Jonathan Harwood LAST UPDATED AT 11:35 ON Mon 15 Aug 2011

After England's destruction of India in the third Test at Edgbaston, the cricket writers have been queueing up to heap praise on Andrew Strauss's men who are now ranked the best side in the world.

They needed to beat India by two clear games to achieve top spot, and having taken a 3-0 lead in the four Test series with one game to play they are assured of that with a game to spare.

The manner of their victory was just as impressive. The mammoth winning margin was an innings and 242 runs. India were bowled out in their first innings for 224 and then had to watch as England piled on the runs. Alastair Cook scored a remarkable 294 and England declared on Friday at 710 for seven, their third highest total ever.

India's attempts to save the game were futile and they were bowled out for 244 on Saturday afternoon.

Mike Selvey in the Guardian reflected on England's ascent to the top of the world game. "It has been relentless, uncompromising, brutal at times, and for gob-smacked England supporters of long standing, used to the Feydeau-farce selection policies and inept performances of the last decades of the previous millennium, it has been utterly and disbelievingly compelling."

In the Telegraph Derek Pringle ponders how long the side can stay at the top of the tree: "You could argue that England’s most instructive and immediate examination of their desire to remain masters of their own destiny comes at the Oval this week, when the very un-English notion of mauling an already humiliated opponent, will be tested."

However, not everyone is that impressed by the current side. Former England captain Brian Close tells the BBC that although the current team is "quite useful" it is not the best England team ever, claiming that the team he led in the 1960s was better.

Another irascible Yorkshireman, Geoffrey Boycott, says that although England are a solid team there is not that much competition. "I don't think they can progress too much and they need to keep standards up but with what's around I don't see difficulties," he told the BBC when asked about England's chances of keeping top spot. · 

For further concise, balanced comment and analysis on the week's news, try The Week magazine. Subscribe today and get 6 issues completely free.