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Smith’s England 1/2 To Beat Pakistan At Lord’s

England are 1/2 with Coral to beat Pakistan in their first Test match of the summer, which gets under way at Lord’s on Thursday. It’s the beginning of a new era for England, under the guidance of new chief selector Ed Smith, whose recall of Jos Buttler after 18 months away from the Test scene is an indication that he wants to see more positive cricket in the five-day game.

Buttler has been in sensational form in the IPL, but averages only 31 in Test cricket and it will be interesting to see how he copes with the need to curb his attacking instincts at times. He’s at 8/1 with Betfred to be the Top England Batsman, a market headed by captain Joe Root at 5/2. After a demoralising 4-0 Ashes defeat over the winter, followed by a draw and a defeat in a two-match series in New Zealand, England will be pleased to be back on home soil, where they beat South Africa and the West Indies last summer. The second Test against Pakistan takes place at Headingley, starting on June 1st.

All odds quoted are subject to change