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The Third Ashes Test at Edgbaston

As England gather their thoughts and work out a recovery strategy after their dire time at Lords, captain Alistair Cook has been talking to the media about how he wants a "fantastic anniversary" in the third test at Edgbaston.

He is referring to the wonderful Ashes series of 2005, and this week sees the tenth anniversary of the second test of that series. Also taking place at Edgbaston, it was a nail biting thriller which saw the England team ultimately victorious by just two runs. A repeat of that, as tense as it was, would probably help to settle some nerves in the England camp, where a spot of self belief would do wonders in the current Ashes campaign.

Edgbaston has been fruitful ground for England in recent years too - they have lost just one of their last ten test matches there, winning six and drawing the others. Making the most of the pitch and the always appreciative crowd to go 2-1 up would be a great step towards taking control of this series.

Despite the travails of the last test, we think England can bounce back in Birmingham. The best place to back that is at SkyBet, who are offering 100/30.

England have made several changes to their team since the last test, most notably bringing in Yorkshire batsman Jonny Bairstow as the number five, after Gary Ballance was dropped following the second test. Hopefully this will help to shore up a team who have found themselves three wickets down far too soon more often than they would like in recent years.

Bairstow is a quality batsman, but it remains to be seen if the amended England team can shore itself up. Australia looked supreme in the last test, unflustered and unconcerned as England tried and failed to bowl them out. The Aussie bowlers also ruled the roost, finding swerve and pace on the pitch where England's attack struggled.

A replication of that performance this time round would leave Australia almost certainly winners of this test and in a very strong position in the series. It's  a strong possibility, and we think it may well be worth picking up. The best place to back the visitors to win is at StanJames, who are offering a market leading 20/21.

Finally, for a longer odds bet, we're looking at the highest England run scorer.

Ian Bell has been under pressure of late, with his test performances not up to his historic standards. We think moving him to third in the batting might be the jolt that provokes him back to his best. It's taking a chance, but he's worth picking up as highest England run scorer in the First Innings at a tempting 6/1 over at BoyleSports.

The Second Ashes Test at Lords

Despite England's emphatic win in the first Test, Alastair Cook still believes Australia remain favourites to claim the Ashes.

It's an understandable point of view - as current holders, all Australia need to do is tie the series to retain the tiny trophy, and losing the first Test isn't an enormous roadblock to doing that. On the other hand, defeating Australia by 169 runs is no mean feat, and England looked a quality outfit while they did it.

All the questions around Kevin Pieterson seem to have dropped by the wayside in the light of the success so far, and the squad are undoubtedly fired up to try and stick it to the Aussies again. This time round they're playing at Lords, the Holy Land of English cricket, and every player will want to try and get their name on the historic rolls of honour that are kept in the pavillion.

England don't actually have a particularly impressive record against Australia at Lords, having won just seven of their 35 tests there. The home squad are hopeful that the impressive bowler Moeen Ali will be fit for the second test. Having scored 77 in the second innings and taken five wickets in the first test, he is well on course to becoming a valuable all-rounder in Cook's side.

Australia are likely to make changes too. Brad Haddin is missing the test for personal reasons, so uncapped Peter Nevill steps in as wicketkeeper. He has an impressive record batting in first-class cricket, and he may be a formidable opponent over the weekend. It's also possible that all-rounder Shane Watson will be dropped in favour of Mitchell Marsh, after scoring poorly in the first Test and receiving the vitriol of the fans for his propensity to get out lbw at the earliest opportunity.

It took a bit of luck to win the first Test - Joe Root being dropped, for one, and Watson failing to make even a half century across two innings for another. England will definitely build on their achievements , and there's a good chance they can maintain their momentum and take the second test. The best place to back that is at PaddyPower, who are offering a market leading 15/8.

Australia have strength in depth though, and the changes to their squad may well be what they need to freshen up and meet the challenge. As Alastair Cook says, they're still formidable and they may well take it to England at Lords. The best place to back Australia is at BoyleSports, who have them at a decent 7/5.

Finally, our pick for a longer odds bet is Joe Root to score highest in the first innings. He's been top scorer in eight of his 28 tests so far, and the only player with a higher percentage is Don Bradman. The best place to back Joe Root as Top England Scorer (1st Innings) is at Coral, who have enhanced the odds to 4/1.

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