Birmingham: Alastair Cook cracked a monumental unbeaten 182 as England tightened their stranglehold over a hapless India by taking a substantial 232-run lead in the third cricket Test here Thursday.
Responding to India's paltry first-innings total of 224, Cook notched up his 19th Test century to guide England to an imposing 456 for three at close on the second day.
Captain Andrew Strauss (87 off 176 balls), Kevin Pietersen (63 off 78), Eoin Morgan (44 batting) and Ian Bell (34 off 43) were the other notable performers on a Edgbaston track which seemed to have no demons, allowing the batsmen to score freely.
Morgan was giving the in-form Cook company when stumps were drawn to bring to an end another hard day for the visitors.
The Indian bowlers lacked sting to pose any sort of trouble to the strong English batting line-up, which added 372 runs in 90 overs after resuming from their overnight score of 84 for no loss.
England will now look to take a massive first-innings lead and push for a victory, which will not only give them an unassailable 3-0 lead but also the number ranking in this form of the game.
India did manage a couple of successes in the session between lunch and tea but nothing could quell England's progress as they scored at a brisk pace in an extended session following a delayed start due to rain.
After a cautious start by Strauss and Cook in the morning, during which the duo added 73 runs, England upped the tempo in the next two sessions to pile up a massive total and leave the visitors totally demoralised.