James Anderson
Anderson took his 18th five-wicket haul in Test cricket. Getty Images

James Anderson took six wickets as England bowled out Australia for just 136 to take early control of the third Ashes Test after day one at Edgbaston.

England's leading Test wicket-taker finished with figures of 6 for 47, with the returning Steven Finn and Stuart Broad taking two scalps each to leave Australia toiling.

Ian Bell made 53 to help England to within three runs of the tourists' paltry first innings total, on 133 for 3, before a fifth bout of Birmingham rain brought a premature end to play.

With seven wickets in hand heading into day two, and with the weather set fair England will be aiming to build a handsome lead as they aim to retake the lead in the five-match series.

Meanwhile, after winning the toss and choosing to bat, Australia captain Michael Clarke will be rueing relinquishing the initiative in the series and fear that after barely one day of play that England are already in an unassailable position.

Steven Finn
Finn marked his first Test appearance since 2013 with two wickets. Getty Images

The post-mortem following England's fourth highest runs-margin Test defeat at Lord's saw Jonny Barstow as expected replacing the dropped Gary Balance, while Mark Wood's ankle injury saw him replaced by Finn.

A buoyant Australia were unchanged, with Peter Nevill preferred to Brad Haddin for a second straight match and after winning the toss and choosing to bat were confident of building more scoreboard pressure on the hosts.

However, few could have predicted what would follow as the team ranked number two in the ICC Test rankings were blown away as the series took another violent twist.

Despite a dark looking surface, England found immediate swing and movement off the seam after after Rodgers played and missed and Warner (2) was almost run out without facing, the latter was trapped lbw in the third over.

What England had lost in the form of Wood's pace and skill, they gained in bounce from Finn and the Middlesex's first Test over for two years produced a second wicket when Steven Smith (7) edged to Alastair Cook at first slip.

Peter Nevill
Nevill left a straight one to sum up Australia's innings. Getty Images

Finn struck again in his next over as he bowled Clarke (10) to leave Australia 34 for 3 and struggling inside the opening over.

Rain delays either side of the lunch break halted England's progress but a stream of wickets from Anderson left the tourists in complete disarray.

Adam Voges (16) and Mitchell Marsh (0) both edged to Jos Buttler, Nevill (2) was castled before Mitchell Johnson (3) sliced to gully as the Lancashire-seamer claimed four scalps in the space of 19 balls.

With Australia having barely passed 100, Broad got in on the act by dismissing Mitchell Starc (11) and Rodgers (52), prior to Anderson completing his best Ashes figures with the wicket of Nathan Lyon (11)

England negotiated the short 20-minute spell before the rain brought an early end to the afternoon session but the intent to continue the onslaught led to the dismissal of Lyth (10), who went after a wide delivery from Josh Hazlewood.

The breakthrough was not immediately accompanied by the accustomed England top-order collapse as Cook and Bell took advantage of Australia's desperation for wickets, as they plundered 23 runs from two overs as they reached fifty from 52 balls.

Adam Voges
Voges took an outstanding catch to dismiss Cook and give Australia hope. Getty Images

Amid England's dominance and now inebriated Edgbaston crowd were in full voice, feasting on every Australian error with the ball and in the field, with Johnson the primary target.

Australia needed a moment of inspiration to alter the momentum and it came in remarkable circumstances, as Cook (34) middled a pull from Lyon's second ball which Voges - who took evasive action at short leg - somehow clung onto with help from his jumper.

Despite the glimmer of hope Australia were unable to build on the success as England continued on the attack, with Bell going to his half centurie with a flurry of boundaries through the off-side, reaching the landmark with his 10th four through cover off 51 balls.

But once again when Australia were desperate Lyon came up with the goods, when Bell (53) skied the off-spinner straight to Warner, with England close to restoring parity.

Only eight further deliveries were possible befor rain came for the fifth time, curtailing a day which had seen England storm back into the series and leave Australia with much to ponder.