The two teams are assembled at Edgbaston ahead of the 3rd Test, with England having claimed hard-fought victories at Lord’s and and Trent Bridge, where the home side won by 5 wickets and 9 wickets respectively.
However, with plenty of rain set to fall from Thursday onwards, England can be backed at 5/2 (bet365 £200 free bets) to claim the spoils in Birmingham, with the teams unlikely to be able to make up the overs lost to bad weather.
Andy Flower has defended the selectors’ decision to leave out James Anderson from the team for this match, with the bowler being rested ahead of what has been described as a hectic fixture schedule for the national team.
“We came into this series with one goal and that was to win the series,” Flower said. “We’ve achieved that goal so our priorities do shift. I’m not intending to demean the importance of this Test but, since we won the series already, our priority on the Test front does now shift to the South Africa series.
It means that Steven Finn or Graham Onions has a chance to shine at Edgbaston, with Onions perhaps slightly more likely to get the nod and he can be backed at 7/2 (Boylesports) to claim the most wickets for his team and impress the selectors.
Stuart Broad has enjoyed a fine series and is likely to bowl the most overs which makes him a value proposition at 5/2, while Tim Bresnan and Graeme Swann will also hope to get the chance to skittle out the Windies twice.
The tourists have played reasonably well given a lack of preparation time for this series, although it is hard to see them taking 20 wickets for what will be a rain-affected five days. West Indies can be backed at 16/1 although a draw would see them restore some pride and Stan James are the only bookmaker to offer 1/2 about this happening.
Andrew Strauss was the stand-out performer for England during their 1st innings at Trent Bridge and the captain might be the man to produce another sizeable knock considering he appears to have the measure of the opposition bowling attack.
Strauss is a 4/1 chance with Blue Square to amass the most runs, with Alastair Cook on offer at the same price. The bookies are struggling to split the two openers and the two men that follow them in the batting order, with Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott looking to boost their averages.