BIRMINGHAM (AFP) - England enjoyed an excellent opening day in the third Test against India as they pursued a win that would see them replace the tourists at the head of the ICCs Test Championship table. They closed on 84 without loss in reply to Indias modest first innings 224, a deficit of 140 runs, at Edgbaston here on Wednesday. England captain Andrew Strauss was 52 not out and fellow left-handed opener Alastair Cook 27 not out in front of a sell-out 25,000 crowd at Warwickshires headquarters, redeveloped at a cost of 32 million ($52 million). Their unbroken stand rounded off a good day for England, already 2-0 up, as they pursued a victory that see them take the four-match series and go to the top of the Test standings. Strauss, in what was his best Test score this season, set the seal on a fine first day for England shortly before stumps by completing a 76-ball fifty including 10 fours. Earlier seamers Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan, Englands heroes with both bat and ball during their crushing 319-run second Test win at Trent Bridge, shared eight wickets. Broad took four for 53 in 17 overs, with the fast-medium bowler dismissing both Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar as the India stars managed just one run between them. Meanwhile Bresnan, recalled at Trent Bridge in place of the still-injured Chris Tremlett, had four for 62 in 20 overs. India have yet to post 300 this series but captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni prevented total embarrassment with a swashbuckling 77 after a top-order collapse reduced his side to 111 for seven. Together with the resourceful Praveen Kumar, he added a run-a-ball 84 for the eighth wicket. Dhoni, whose previous best score this series was 28 in the opener at Lords, launched James Anderson for a straight six and also clubbed Bresnan high over long-on as he at last found his form with the bat. Kumar was no silent partner, hitting a six and four fours in his 26 before, trying to hook Bresnan, he was caught by wicketkeeper Matt Prior. Dhoni was evenually out when an edged drive off Broad was held by first slip Strauss to end a 96-ball knock featuring three sixes and 10 fours. Injury-hit India, after losing the toss in overcast, seam bowler friendly conditions, slumped to 75 for four at lunch with Rahul Dravid, a century-maker at Trent Bridge, brilliantly bowled by Bresnan for 22 off the last ball before the interval. India then lost their next three wickets for just 19 runs, with Bresnan again exposing Venkatsai Laxmans vulnerability against the short delivery when the elegant batsman didnt get over a pull short and holed out straight to Broad at long leg for 30. Broad had previously struck first ball to remove dynamic opening batsman Sehwag for a golden duck. Sehwag, playing his first match of the series after shoulder surgery, tried to sway out of the way of a short ball but gloved to Prior, with a review overturning Daviss initial verdict as it also did when Kumar was dismissed. Bresnan then ended a stand worth 51 when left-hander Gambhir inside-edged onto his stumps for 38. Gambhirs exit brought in Tendulkar who received a standing ovation as he walked out in pursuit of an unprecedented 100th international hundred. But Tendulkar made just one before he was lured into playing a Broad delivery outside off-stump he might have left and edged to third slip Anderson. SCOREBOARD INDIA 1ST INNINGS: G Gambhir b Bresnan 38 V Sehwag c Prior b Broad 0 R Dravid b Bresnan 22 S Tendulkar c Anderson b Broad 1 V Laxman c Broad b Bresnan 30 S Raina b Anderson 4 MS Dhoni c Strauss b Broad 77 A Mishra c Prior b Broad 4 P Kumar c Prior b Bresnan 26 I Sharma c Cook b Anderson 4 S Sreesanth not out 0 EXTRAS: (b4, lb14) 18 TOTAL: (all out, 62.2 overs) 224 FOW: 1-8, 2-59, 3-60, 4-75, 5-92, 6-100, 7-111, 8-195, 9-224, 10-224 BOWLING: Anderson 21.2-3-69-2; Broad 17-6-53-4; Bresnan 20-4-62-4; Swann 4-0-22-0 ENGLAND 1ST INNINGS: A Strauss not out 52 A Cook not out 27 EXTRAS: (lb5) 5 TOTAL: (0 wkts, 25 overs) 84 BOWLING: Kumar 9-4-27-0; Sreesanth 5-2-21-0; Sharma 7-2-16-0; Mishra 3-0-13-0; Raina 1-0-2-0