England v Pakistan
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England are confident going into the third Test at Edgbaston despite the loss of Ben Stokes to another injury. A comprehensive victory at Old Trafford and key men hitting top form has given Pakistan a host of problems.
Alastair Cook and Joe Root are averaging 90 and 123 respectively. And Pakistan coach Micky Arthur has admitted the tourists have to had to sit down again to find a way to get them out cheaply. Root's 254 in Manchester was a masterclass.
The emergence of Chris Woakes - he has 18 wickets in the series - has been a major boost and takes the pressure off James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Steve Finn.
Finn should return to the XI for Stokes with Adil Rashid missing out. Alex Hales is in dire need of a score.
There had always been doubts about whether Pakistan's batting was good enough to sustain a challenge in this series and in Manchester those doubts re-surfaced.
They have to get more from Mohammad Hafeez and Younis Khan, their experienced campaigners. Hafeez is averaging 25 and it is criminal that he has got starts only to chuck his wicket away with careless shots.
Surprisingly Younis was rested for the tour match against Worcestershire when he is in desperate need of crease time. Sami Aslam missed his chance to pressurise Shan Masood and Hafeez for one of the opening slots.
Bowlers Imran Khan and Sohail Khan did not impress either so Pakistan could go with the same XI.
The wicket in Birmingham has a history of favouring the bowlers. In the last eight Tests the first-innings average is just 242. Only one side (West Indies three years ago) has posted more than 300 in the last seven first innings. Pakistan were rolled for 72 in 2010 to lose by nine wickets while Australia could muster only 136 last year.
England are 1.584/7, Pakistan are 5.24/1 and the draw is 5.69/2. That is a skinny price about the hosts and there could be some trepidation about snaffling it considering their negative tactics in Manchester.
It is understandable, however. England have a terrific record at Edgbaston. They have lost one of their last 11 and the wicket perfectly suits their bowlers.
But they cannot be described as value at that price. That's because of the toss bias. In the last six Tests which have produced results, five have been won by the side fielding first. The odd one out was Ricky Ponting's Australia in 2005.
The ball should seam and swing here. And if England can bend it so too can Pakistan. Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz and Rahat Ali will be a real threat. The 5.24/1 could disappear pretty quickly if they bowl first.
Still, we need to stick to what we know. A bowler-friendly pitch, a fine England attack and vulnerable Pakistan batting means that the best bet will be on a lay of Pakistan's first-innings runs. The weather forecast is pretty good.
Top England runscorer
Root top scored with a half-century against Australia last year. He is 3.613/5. Cook is 4.47/2. Bairstow has solid ground form in the county game and gets a 5.59/2 quote. Moeen Ali rescued England against Australia and is 13.5.
Top Pakistan runscorer
With England expected to rip through Pakistan's top order, Sarfraz Ahmed could be value to come in late and pinch it with a 30 or 40. He should go off at around 11.010/1. Otherwise Asad Shafiq and Misbah-ul-Haq have the best techniques to cope. They are 5.14/1 and 3.45 respectively.
Lay Pakistan for 275 runs or more at 2.35/4
Sarfraz top Pakistan 1st inns bat (half stakes) at 11.010/1