Umar Gul winning fitness race to return for England battle

Pakistan’s most experienced fast bowler is in line for a recall after completely recovering from a stiff hamstring, providing Pakistan captain Salman Butt with a selection headache ahead of the final Test which begins on Thursday at Lord’s.

Umar Gul’s recovery is good news for Pakistan who are spoilt for riches in the bowling division after Wahab Riaz took five for 63 on the first day of the third Test to set-up Pakistan’s four-wicket victory.

But Gul’s recent performances, first at Trent Bridge where he top scored with 65 in addition to taking four for 102, and at Lord’s against Australia earlier in the year where he was on the verge of a hat-trick and ended with five wickets, should guarantee his place in the starting 11.

Pakistan remain non-committal about Gul’s chances of starting but it will be interesting to see who comes out on top between himself and Riaz after the 25-year-olds dazzling debut.

Gul is 7/2 to be Pakistan’s top first innings wicket taker and Riaz is 4/1 in the same market.

Riaz will be high on confidence but the experience of Gul, especially after his performance on the Lord’s strip against Australia, mean’s that he has the slight edge in the betting.

A much improved fielding performance from Pakistan led them to a third Test victory over England at the Oval and has given them a shot at tying the series in front of a packed Lord’s crowd this weekend.

The return of Mohammad Yousuf has provided much-needed solidity in the middle-order but it remains to be seen if Pakistan can improve on their awful batting performances so far in the Test series and are priced at 4/1 to complete the victory.

England should have enough batting power to see off Pakistan and are available at 8/11. See the full England vs Pakistan Fourth Test betting market here.