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Vaughan and Stewart predict long-term England dominance


August 14, 2011 - London

Former England captains Michael Vaughan and Alec Stewart believe that the Andrew Strauss-led team will dominate Test cricket for years to come.

England has claimed the number-one ranking in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test Championship table for the first time in 32 years after winning the Edgbaston Test against India by an innings and 242 runs, which has also given it an impregnable 3-0 lead in the four-Test series.

Vaughan believes England have the weight of talent and mental strength to establish an era of supremacy in the manner of the great West Indies and Australia sides of the past.

"I really think this side are going to dominate Test cricket for a period because of their strength in depth, fitness levels, determination and the real hunger they display," the BBC quoted Vaughan, as saying.

"It is not just this 11, the depth of the 24 or 25 players England have to choose from is fantastic - there is some great talent out there," he added.

Strauss' men have now won eight of their last nine Test series, including Ashes triumphs at home and away.

Meanwhile, Stewart said that as a former player and a fan, he is delighted that England is the new number one Test squad.

"But the important thing is that this is not just for six weeks or the next six months, it's got to be for the next six years," Stewart said.

"I believe they can go on and dominate for some time now. To win a game you have to take 20 wickets, and our bowling attack is capable of doing that in any conditions," he added.

To top the championship table for the first time under the current ranking system, which was introduced in June 2003, England needed to win the ongoing series against India by a 2-0 margin or better.

England accomplished its mission with enormous confidence and that too in great style when it won the first Test at Lord's by 196 runs, then doubled the lead with a convincing 319 runs victory at Trent Bridge before sealing the series at Edgbaston on Saturday.

England had last surged to the top of the Test rankings in February 1979 when the then number-one ranked West Indies lost a six-Test series in India by 1-0.

However, the West Indies bounced back five months later to beat England by 1-0 in a five-Test series to reclaim the number-one ranking.

Prior to this and since the 1950s, England had twice achieved number-one rankings - from 1955 to 1959 and then from 1970 to 1973.

ANI

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