Rob Handley picks out his best bets from Thursday's third Test at Lords.
Cook announced that England are going to name an unchanged side from the second Test, resisting the temptation to play in-form paceman Jake Ball.
Sri Lanka have kept their cards close to their chest but are not expected to make any changes, as they look forward to the ODI’s and T20’s they seem to be more comfortable playing.
Being played at the home of cricket, Lords, the third Test looks sure to go the way of the home side, but perhaps not by the massive margin of the previous two games. Sri Lanka put up a good fight in their second innings in Durham, scoring 475 and forcing England to bat again. Keeper-batsman Chandimal finally showing us what he is capable of and contributions from opener Silva, skipper Matthews and Herath show that Sri Lanka are beginning to learn English conditions. Too little too late springs to mind.
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I can’t see anything other than an England win. You have to take 20 wickets to win a Test match and I’d back the England attack all day long to deliver the goods. Whilst Broad tends to bowl better than Anderson at Lord’s, there promises to be some weather around, which should aid Anderson who has proven to be too much to handle this series. My money is on Anderson to be the top England bowler at 5-2.
I’d also consider Steven Finn if you would rather back someone at bigger odds. He hasn’t performed well this series but Lord’s is his home ground.
Sri Lanka’s opening partnership has been no match for Anderson and Broad and I can’t see either batsmen performing well at Lords, so England to have the highest opening partnership in the match at 4-7 looks nailed on.
If something at longer odds is more what you are looking for, Jonny Bairstow to be top England batsman at 7-1 looks a great shout considering the form he has been in this season.