India will go home with bruised ego and reputation: Stewart

England crushed India by an innings and 242 runs in the third cricket Test to take an unassailable 3-0 lead and the World No.1 ranking.   The Indians, who held the top spot for 21 months, struggled throughout in the tough English conditions. Trailing 0-2, they needed to win the third Test at Edgbaston to save their top spot but folded in within four days.    

Stewart hailed the current England squad as the strongest he has seen in his lifetime.   "I'm delighted to hail Andrew Strauss and his men as the strongest England squad I've seen in my lifetime in cricket," Stewart wrote in his column in the Mirror.

"India arrived on these shores in July as the king-pins and will be going home with their reputation - and egos - bruised and beaten. "England have quite simply battered them into submission with a ruthless display of high-class, uncompromising cricket.

"The much-vaunted Indian batting line-up have had no answers to the high quality fast bowling which has been brilliantly led by James Anderson. "India are still a fine side on the sub-continent but have been shown up in English conditions," he wrote.

Stewart felt the present side will only get better and can reach the standards set by  the great West Indies and the Australian teams.  "When I started playing international cricket it was Clive Lloyd's West Indies who dominated the game," Stewart wrote."Then we saw Australia, with the likes of Warne, McGrath and the Waugh twins, take the game to new heights.

"England are on the right track to be compared to those brilliant sides." "With planning, attention to detail, hard work and strong leadership that is achieving so much now, I expect them to be eventually ranked in the same bracket as those other truly great sides," he said.

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