Michael Vaughan and Alec Stewart predict England dominance

Former captains Michael Vaughan and Alec Stewart believe England will dominate Test cricket for years to come.

Andrew Strauss's side became number one in the world rankings after thrashing India by an innings and 242 runs to take a 3-0 lead in their four-match Test series on Saturday.

Vaughan and Stewart believe 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.

Vaughan, who won a record 26 Tests as England captain,  told BBC Sport: "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.

Alec Stewart

To win a game you have to take 20 wickets, and our bowling attack is capable of doing that in any conditions

Ex-England captain Alec Stewart

"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."

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

Needing to beat India by two clear Tests to displace them at the top of the rankings, they annihilated the tourists, storming to victories at Lord's, Trent Bridge and Edgbaston.

Stewart, England's most-capped cricketer,  told BBC Sport: "As an ex-player and a fan, I am delighted that England are number one.

"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.

"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.

ICC RANKINGS AS THEY STAND

  • England 124
  • India 119
  • South Africa 118
  • Sri Lanka 108
  • Australia 100
  • Pakistan 93
  • West Indies 89
  • New Zealand 78
  • Bangladesh 9

"The strength in depth is there and plenty of healthy competition for places.

"The standard of county cricket is going up as well because they know that if they want to be part of the England set-up they have got to work hard."

England face a difficult task to stay at the top of the pile. This winter, after a one-day series in India, they travel to Dubai and Abu Dhabi to take on Pakistan before a two-Test series in Sri Lanka.

Next summer features home Test series against West Indies and South Africa, the team Vaughan rates as the most capable of ousting England.

"In Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, South Africa have two match-winning bowlers," he said. "But I'm not sure if they have the depth that England have.

"For years Australia had that real depth in their squad. England have that now and they will take some catching."

Listen to Jonathan Agnew and Geoff Boycott's review of the final day's play on the TMS podcast.

ICC Test rankings

England's progress is in contrast to Australia who once enjoyed a huge lead