England need to win the final Test of their series with South Africa to remain at the head of the Test rankings and the performances of Kevin Pietersen and Stuart Broad could prove critical again to obtaining this result.
It is 2/1 that the three-Test series is drawn, while South Africa are 2/5 to take the series, which would be achieved with either a victory or a draw at Lord’s.
Pietersen and Broad were instrumental in England drawing the second Test and the duo gave Andrew Strauss’ men the base to almost triumph at Headingley.
It was Pietersen’s 149 in the first innings that kept England out of early trouble and then Broad took four wickets for just 12 runs to give hope of a previously unexpected run chase.
Pietersen then sparked some controversy post-match when suggesting that Lord’s could be his final Test for England, having already retired from international one-day cricket earlier this year.
He has had his disagreements with the England and Wales Cricket Board and threatening another retirement looks to be his chosen approach to sorting out his issues.
If Lord’s does prove to be Pietersen’s last Test, he will want to go out on a high against the nation of his birth.
For Broad, he has already blown away the West Indies at Lord’s this year and will have hopes of repeating this against South Africa.
He took 11 wickets in the match against the West Indies and his 7-72 in the first innings sent England on the way to a five-wicket success in May.
The bowling may also be aided by the probable return of Graeme Swann, who will have watched part-time spinner Pietersen pick up wickets in the second Test.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.