Whoever wins the toss will probably bowl, given the cloud cover set to be around, and a bit of grass will help the seamers early on. Bowling first does tend to see a positive result, especially in recent years.

Pitch report: Edgbaston, Birmingham

Pitch report: Edgbaston, Birmingham

Established: 1882

Capacity: 21,000

Floodlights: Yes

Ends: City End, Pavilion End

Home Team: Warwickshire

Head Groundsman: Gary Barwell

Test History: 48 Tests; 25 home wins; 8 away wins; 15 draws

Last 10 Tests: 6 home wins; 1 away win; 3 draws

Last 10 tosses: 4 batted first (2 wins, 2 draws, 1 defeat); 6 bowled first (4 wins, 1 defeat, 1 draw)

Overview

Before the Riverside's promotion to Test status, Warwickshire's Edgbaston was the baby of the grounds on the regular rotation.

Test cricket was first staged at Edgbaston in 1902, but was an infrequent visitor in the ground's early years: only four Tests were played there in the next quarter-century. It has fallen by the wayside in recent years again, with only one Test since 2012.

When the 'Bullring' gets going it can be tough for visiting teams, reflected in the fact that England have a better record here than at any other major venue.

A period of significant renovation at the end of the 1990s produced the new Cricket Centre and the £2million Hollies Stand. Further redevelopment plans were given the stamp of approval in early 2010, paving the way for a new Pavilion Stand equipped with plush new dressing rooms and media centre.

Floodlights were installed in 2011 for the first time, and the third Test between England and India was the first opportunity for Edgbaston to show off its fresh look on the international stage.

Some of the most memorable moments of recent cricketing history have taken place here. In 1994, Brian Lara amassed his world record 501 not out for Warwickshire against Durham, while in 1999 the ground hosted the famous tied World Cup semi-final between South Africa and Australia.

Then there was the 2005 epic, when Michael Kasprowicz gloved a short ball to Geraint Jones to hand England a thrilling two-run win in the greatest Ashes Test ever.

Last Time Out

The most recent Test here was in July last year, when England won their Ashes clash against Australia by eight wickets, with more than two days to spare.

The Aussies won the toss and opted to bat, going against the grain, and soon rued the decision. James Anderson made light work of their order, taking six wickets as the visitors were out for 136 in half a day's play.

England then made 281 all out, with half tons from Ian Bell, Joe Root, and Moeen Ali sparing their blushes. It was then Steve Finn's turn to bag six, as the Aussies responded with 265 all out.

As such, England needed just 121 runs to win, and Bell's 65 led them home with ease at his home ground. It gave England a 2-1 lead in the series.

They Said

Oz captain Michael Clarke after the above game: "I guess credit has to go to England, they came out and bowled really well on day one. I still would have batted first, the wicket's deteriorating, we wanted to get deep into day four, day five. It seemed and swung throughout the game, probably the best time to bat."

England's Alastair Cook: "I don't think the pitch was 140 all out but the way Jimmy bowled, backed up by Steve was fantastic. It's the sort of pitch we want to play on."

England's Stuart Broad, this week, on England's good record here: "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."

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur: "We feel if we can get into them with the new ball we've got a real good chance. Clearly Cook and Root are the beacon of England batting at moment."

Happy Hunting Ground

Of the England batsmen in this squad, Alastair Cook has the most runs and the best average (Pietersen is well ahead of him, mind). He has a ton and a fifty in 11 innings, averaging 50. Joe Root has only played here once, with a half ton and an unbeaten 38 to his name.

Bowling-wise, James Anderson is the leading current wicket-taker, with 31 scalps in seven Tests. Stuart Broad has taken 17 wickets though, averaging under 23. Steve Finn has 14 wickets in three Tests.

Pakistan last played here in 2010, and of that side only Azhar Ali and Mohammad Amir remain. Amir took three wickets in that defeat, while Azhar made no score worth noting.

Weather Forecast

Temperatures are not set to go above 21 degrees, making for chilly fielding, though it's not expected to rain for long spells. But there will be some cloud cover for the swing bowlers though, and day two could see more rain than we'd like.

Conclusion

Whoever wins the toss will probably bowl, given the cloud cover set to be around, and a bit of grass will help the seamers early on. Bowling first does tend to see a positive result, especially in recent years. But batting well will see some profit as well, though the last time they played a Test here it was a low-scoring affair.


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