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Chris Woakes bowling like someone who belongs - Stuart Broad

There is an oddly long list of gadgets that were invented in Birmingham - it includes the microwave over, the electric kettle and the pacemaker - but if England could use one of them, the photocopier, to produce a facsimile of Ben Stokes to run out at Edgbaston, they undoubtedly would.

Stokes' absence from the side, after tearing his right calf while bowling in the second Investec Test at Old Trafford, forces England to make a change that could threaten the balance of their side. With no batsmen added to the squad, England will call on either Steven Finn or Jake Ball to replace Stokes unless the Edgbaston pitch looks especially spin friendly, in which case Adil Rashid may get another opportunity to perform at Test level.

Any of these options undoubtedly weakens England's batting line up which, with three out of the top five batsmen struggling to make runs this summer, has relied heavily on Alastair Cook and Joe Root to shore up their innings. But it's with the ball in hand that Stokes will be more sorely missed, according to Stuart Broad.

"The way he likes the game to move forward, you need players like that in your team," said Broad. "If Cookie and Rooty continue their form he's probably more of a loss with the ball, because he's not needed [with the bat]."

"He does change the dynamic slightly. He bats at six and he's your fourth seamer but he'll be replaced by a spinner or a frontline seamer so he does give a bit more depth in the batting. We do bat a long way down so that's not too much of a worry."

While some may have considered Chris Woakes to be a slightly faded facsimile of Stokes before the start of the summer, he has proved to be as useful a Birmingham product as the microwave oven.

After coming into the side as a straight replacement when Stokes was injured during the Sri Lanka series, Woakes has made himself invaluable to England's pace attack in his own right taking 26 wickets at 13.84 in four Tests this season. And his half-century, scored after he came in as nightwatchman in the first innings at Old Trafford (following his maiden Test fifty against Sri Lanka at Lord's) was compiled with a composure that - while differing to Stokes' explosive shotmaking - stiffens the middle-to-lower order.

After checking in and checking out several times Woakes - in English conditions at least - seems to belong as a resident in England's house, rather than being a temporary visitor. Broad has noticed the difference, but says he and James Anderson have had little to do with the transformation.

"Maybe it's the confidence of belonging," said Broad. "It's hard to tell how much he's moved forward from South Africa in that the pitches over there are much flatter and the Kookaburra ball compared to the Dukes ball that he's bowled with for his whole career."

"He was under a bit of pressure after South Africa with people questioning whether he could make it as a Test match bowler but he'd only played six or seven Test matches. I think I took my first five-fer in maybe my ninth Test match so I said to him 'look, you're not in a massive rush here. You're a talented player. Don't feel like you have to get a five-fer every time you run on the field. Do what you do for Warwickshire: hit the top of off consistently and wickets will come for you.'

"I think he showed that at Lord's. He didn't get his wickets with his best balls actually, he picked up a few cheaper ones. He's become very consistent in putting the batsmen under pressure and when your confidence is that high you feel like you can release the ball at full whack.

"He's getting his fingers behind the ball and that's helping him get bounce. You give him the ball and he's got something more about him. You feel like he's there to take wickets and that's the confidence that I gained from that five-fer at the Oval in 2009. That I can do it, I can get Ricky Ponting out, I'm not just a county bowler, I can step up to that next level. This summer has been Chris Woakes delivering that belief."

With the series level at 1-1, England now return to the ground where the parochial crowd provides the most hostile atmosphere for visiting teams - just ask the Australians, who had nowhere to hide from the cacophony from the Eric Hollies stand last summer. The Barmy Army will be out in force at this Test, too, although Warwickshire have promoted the match heavily within the local Asian community and worked with Pakistan fan groups to encourage attendance.

To maximise home advantage, England's pace attack will turn to Woakes for advice; a further sign of his increase in stature within the side.

"This week I imagine Chris will be very influential on certain field placings for Edgbaston," said Broad. "Does gully come into the game? Is it fourth slip? Do you need to bowl a bit fuller? Is the bouncer a good option? Does it reverse? There's a lot that can change in six months of cricket so [we'll listen to] his experience of what Edgbaston has been like this summer."

"Edgbaston feels like our Gabba so to speak, in the way the crowd roar behind us and I think some of our results reflect that."

"We've got Chris in form of his life going to home ground where he's bowled thousands of overs and that can only be a good thing."

Stuart Broad is an Investec Test Cricket ambassador. For more on Investec private banking visit investec.co.uk/banking