Abbas offers value but Pakistan remain outsiders to wrap up series win

Mohammad Abbas trapped Joe Root lbw Getty Images

The odds-setters at Bet365 seem reasonably content that lightning will not strike twice at Headingley this week. After England's shocking performance in the first Test against Pakistan at Lord's, they need to regroup strongly to claim a share of the two-Test series. But they are backed at 8/13 to do just that, with Pakistan's odds of sealing a 2-0 win a slightly more distant 10/3.

The draw - which would seal a 1-0 Pakistan series win - is at 4/1, which seems improbable given how effective their bowling proved in the first Test and how fallible both sets of batsmen can be. Then again, the rain in Yorkshire can generally be relied upon to make an appearance.

England were forced to ring the changes after the Lord's loss - or rather, the change, with the out-of-form Mark Stoneman jettisoned in favour of a recall for Keaton Jennings. But at 16/1, Jennings is not exactly a hot bet to be the Man of the Match, albeit he did star with a century on debut against India in 2016-17. Who knows whether he can replicate that effort on his second coming to the side.

In the absence of the injured Babar Azam, Pakistan have called Usman Salahuddin into their middle order, and at 33/1 he is the rank outsider to mark his arrival with a series-winning performance on Test debut.

Ben Stokes remains 8/1 to be the star performer for England, albeit he is under an injury cloud following a reported hamstring niggle. Sam Curran (25/1) is waiting in the wings. But who could resist a flutter on Mohammad Abbas (16/1), the ideal line-and-length merchant for English conditions? His eight wickets at Lord's sealed the Man of the Match award there, and are England really going to repel his wiles any better this time around?