- In a topsy-turvy series, Pakistan won the first Test by 75 runs before England bounced back emphatically to level it up at 1-1. Pakistan got on top in the Third Test to lead by 103 runs after the first innings, but England again responded strongly to wrap up a 141-run victory on the final day.
- Joe Root is England’s leading run-scorer in the series and Chris Woakes the top wicket-taker, but it has been a real team effort and there was no shortage of man-of-the-match contenders at Edgbaston. Off-spinning all-rounder Moeen Ali got the nod for his twin half-centuries and crucial final-day wickets.
- Misbah-ul-Haq is top of the series run charts for Pakistan, but at Edgbaston there were only two batsmen who could hold their heads up from the touring side - young opener Sami Aslam and first-innings centurion Azhar Ali. Yasir Shah remains Pakistan’s leading wicket-taker with 14 in the series, but has taken just four in the last two Tests.
Traditionally one of the quickest and bounciest pitches in England, The Oval should be the ideal venue for England to complete what would be an impressive series victory. While there are still question marks about one or two players, most notably the under-pressure James Vince, England have far more men in form than their opponents. One of those is the captain, Alastair Cook, who has made some good contributions this series and has looked in such sparkling touch that he will feel ready to cash in even more. At 3/1, he has good memories of playing against Pakistan at The Oval after scoring a career-saving 110 in 2010 and looks a good punt for top England batsman.
Pakistan’s best chance is if they can dismiss Cook and Joe Root early on, and they will then need Yasir Shah to come to the party. The leg-spinner has had a frustrating couple of games and England appear to have worked out how to play him quite comfortably, but The Oval does sometimes turn and if Pakistan bat first then he is not to be taken lightly as the pitch breaks up. Yasir still looks decent value at 5/2 to be Pakistan’s top bowler.
It promises to be a fitting end to an exciting series and there will be a host of in-play markets to explore once the match gets started on Thursday and it becomes clear how the pitch is playing, but it would be a surprise if England do not keep the momentum going and clinch a 3-1 victory.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Alastair Cook to be top England batsman - 3/1
*Please note, odds may fluctuate.