We are just a few weeks from what looking to be an enthralling Test match series between England and South Africa.
The two sides currently sit in the top two of the world rankings in this format of the game so it has the makings of being a fantastic three Test matches.
Looking at England to begin with, they did what was expected in their recent series against West Indies, winning 2-0. The third Test at Edgbaston was them a washout.
Andrew Strauss’ team are superb on home soil and have a perfect balance in their side. Strauss himself would have been pleased to be amongst the runs to brush aside any doubts over his place in the team.
With the ball, James Anderson will be the man leading the attack as he looks to keep showing that he is one of the best bowlers in the world at the moment. Anderson will be well supported by the likes of Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann and Tim Bresnan.
This will be the toughest test that the Three Lions have faces in a long time in the 5-day game. If they want to remain on top of the world, they have to win this series.
As for South Africa, although they won their recent Test series against New Zealand, it was not easy for them and they ended up drawing two of the three matches.
Graeme Smith will know that his side must improve this summer against much tougher opposition. Smith will hope his men can get into some good form during their tour matches in England.
It is a battle of the bowling attacks this summer as the South Africans will think they have the best the game at the moment. Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander will be looking to cause the England batsman a lot of trouble.
With the bat, the likes of Smith, A B de Villiers and JP Duminy will need to be amongst the runs.
First Test Match Odds
England go into the first encounter as the favourites at this stage, although a lot can change from now and when it gets underway. You can back them to take a 1-0 lead at 2.63 (13/8) with Ladbrokes.
South Africa will feel confident about beating Strauss’ team even though they are away from home. 2.75 (7/4) are the odds of them winning with BWIN. A draw is being offered at 3.00 (2/1)
As for the first Test, England are the slight favourites to be victorious in the entire series and are being offered at 2.25 (5/4) with Bet365.
South Africa winning the series can be backed at 4.33 (10/3) with StanJames.
Ian Bell looks to be in great form and this could be the series where he really shows that he is one of the best batsmen around. Bell finishing the series as England’s leading run scorer has odds of 6.50 (11/2) with VC Bet.