England head into this week's final Test of the series at The Oval with a lead and a chance to sweep to the top of the ICC Test Rankings, a scenario which appeared unlikely after their Lord's humbling at the hands of an inspired Yasir Shah.

Nullifying the Pakistan leg spinner - in the last two Tests he has combined figures of 4 for 502 having claimed 10 for 141 in the opening game - has been integral in completing a swift turnaround in fortunes with victories at Old Trafford and especially Edgbaston ripping the heart from the challenge of the tourists.

England were well behind at Birmingham for the great majority of the game but their ability to gain some reverse swing on the final afternoon unlocked a Pakistan middle order which again crumbled under pressure. The scars could still be apparent in south London this week where it will require a monumental shift in the tourists' psychology to arrest a decline in fortunes.

Rumours early week suggested this week's pitch may sport more grass than Edgbaston which will be music to Alastair Cook's ears as well as the England seamers who worked superbly as a unit to generate victory on Sunday.

The resurgence of Steve Finn was a major positive to emerge from the Third Test with the Middlesex quickie regaining rhythm and threat following a barren period with the ball. He could be some value to top the England bowling charts even if the Oval doesn't quite have the pace and bounce of years gone by.

The motivation of completing a job well done and perhaps reaching the top of the rankings - England will head the list if holding on to their series lead and India fail to beat the West Indies 3-0 - should maintain the hosts' drive and enthusiasm this week. It will be disappointing if they can't compete a 3-1 series win given their mental superiority and form of their captain, who along with Joe Root, has been the chief difference in the sides.

England's late order also contrasts markedly with that of their rivals whose tail could be further lengthened with coach Micky Arthur considering adding a fifth bowler to the ranks.

Cook's mental toughness is beginning to run through the side and he is fancied to see his team over the line with another major contribution with the bat. Fellow opener Sami Aslam was hugely impressive in Birmingham, displaying great patience and tenacity and the 20-year-old may again emerge best of the visiting batsmen.

England to win the Fourth Test - 2pts @ 4/7
Alastair Cook top England batsman - 1pt @ 3/1
Steven Finn top England bowler - 1pt @ 9/2
Sami Aslam top Pakistan batsman - 1pt @ 15/2