Strauss is back in the England squad for the two-Test series against Bangladesh(credit: HNM_1977
England’s first home Test match of the summer gets underway on Thursday as they start their two-Test series with Bangladesh at Lord’s
The World Twenty20 champions will be looking to transfer their form from the shorter version of the game on to the Test arena as they prepare to defend the Ashes in Australia this winter.
Captain Andrew Strauss is back in the side after missing the winter series in Bangladesh, although coach Andy Flower has decided to rest Paul Collingwood and Stuart Broad from this encounter.
Eoin Morgan, who was one of the stars for England in the World Twenty20, is in line for his England Test debut, while Middlesex team-mate Steven Finn has retained his place after impressing in Bangladesh.
James Anderson will lead the England bowling attack after being an unused player in the West Indies, while Kevin Pietersen will be looking to continue scoring big runs in the five-day format.
It is not expected that Bangladesh will put up much of a fight at Lord’s and England can be backed at 1/10 with Betfred (£50 free bet) to win the Test.
The Tigers are on offer at 28/1 with Blue Square (use bonus code MAXIMUMBONUS to claim £66 in free bets), while the draw can be backed at 9/1 with Sportingbet (use bonus code MAXIMUMBONUS to claim a £25 free bet).
It will be a big surprise if any Bangladesh player reaches a century, but you can back a number of players to be their leading runs maker with Tamim Iqbal (7/2 Boylesports), Imrul Kayes (5/1 bet365) and Mohammad Ashraful (11/2 totesport) looking good for the Tigers.
The majority of England’s batting line-up should be in the runs, but Kevin Pietersen (3/1 Paddy Power), Andrew Strauss (4/1 888Sport) and Eoin Morgan (15/2 Stan James) are the best bets for the Three Lions.
On the other side of the coin England’s bowlers will be hoping to take advantage of a weak batting line-up to get their wicket haul up and running, with James Anderson (2/1 William Hill) and Greame Swann (9/4 Blue Square) the obvious favourites.
England squad: AJ Strauss (captain, Middlesex), JM Anderson (Lancashire), IR Bell (Warwickshire), TT Bresnan (Yorkshire), AN Cook (Essex), ST Finn (Middlesex), EJG Morgan (Middlesex), KP Pietersen (Hampshire), MJ Prior (Sussex), A Shahzad (Yorkshire), GP Swann (Nottinghamshire), IJL Trott (Warwickshire)