Second Test preview: India v England

In their own backyard, on their own terms, and ripe for revenge, and Indian XI locks horns with a depleted and alienated England team written off by their own this week.

In their own backyard, on their own terms, and ripe for revenge, and Indian XI locks horns with a depleted and alienated England team written off by their own this week.

Former skipper Ian Botham suggested as many as four changes and ex-seamer Angus Fraser reckons there is no way back for Alastair Cook's men a mere one loss into a four-match affair.

These reactions were largely kneejerk, considering the hefty nature of defeat in Ahmedabad, where errors of old – and new, larger mistakes – crept into England's game. A relatively fresh start in Mumbai, where they won last time out, in 2006, will bring opportunity for balance to the predicted doom and gloom.

How that equilibrium, and eventual turn of fortune is to be achieved, however, lies entirely with the 11 individuals that take the field this week. England's personnel-heavy brains trust, led by the unwavering Andy Flower and Alastair Cook, have done all they can do, insisted all they can insist, demanded all they can demand. Now is the time for appropriate delivery.

The English have been forced to dig deep a lot this year, starting with the series in the United Arab Emirates, continuing against Sri Lanka and South Africa and now ending against India. A win over the West Indies, somewhere in the middle, provided momentary relief.

That mental fervour required at the depths of adversity has proven porous for 11 months and translated to physical and technical breakdowns in Ahmedabad. The reckoning, and need for turnaround, couldn't be more obvious in Mumbai.

Team-wise, the calls for Monty Panesar's inclusion will be heeded. What difference he wasn't allowed to make this week, he will this time, at the expense of Tim Bresnan.

The seamer is the right man to drop, not all-rounder Samit Patel, who admittedly received a couple of rough decisions in the series opener. Meanwhile, all signs point to Jonny Bairstow rather than Eoin Morgan coming in for new father Ian Bell, back in England to be with young Joseph William.

India will only make one change, with fast bowler Ishant Sharma set to replace the injured Umesh Yadav. Pity that, as Yadav was a joy to watch in trying conditions in at the Sardar Patel Stadium, where he found some late reverse swing. Post-ankle surgery and at the end of a viral infection, the lanky Ishant has a lot to prove.

Neutrals and England fans, of course, might be quick to argue victory in Ahmedabad was entirely due to the visitors' mental disintegration – and that the use of the Decision Review System might have evened the playing field.

But the dominance of Virender Sehwag and Cheteshwar Pujara, followed by Pragyan Ojha and Ravichandran Ashwin was insatiable – and the argument would've been quickly countered had Cook not proven such a one-man army.

Opportunity knocks for Yuvraj Singh and Virat Kohli again, to remain at the forefront of the team's bid to move on after the retirements of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman.

While Pujara has made the number three berth his own, very quickly, the eventual retirement of Sachin Tendulkar needs catering for. Sehwag, too, could do with one more big knock to reaffirm his post at the top of the knock – in his 100th Test.

In conclusion, Botham and Fraser might have believe us otherwise, but last year's four-nil whitewash in England is still a considerable way off from amounting to another drubbing. A competitive track, more so than the one in Ahmedabad, will certainly fuel the battle.

<b>Key Men</b><br><i>India:</i> <b>Sachin Tendulkar</b> will be fully aware of his lack of runs, and calls for retirement, with this as good a chance as any to stave off his critics for the time being.

<i>England:</i> Under tremendous to perform, the forgotten man of Ahmedabad returns, eager to afford Graeme Swann a complementary force – and <b>Monty Panesar's</b> latest cap will be arguably his most testing yet.

<b>Last Five Head-To-Head Results</b><br>2012: First Test: India won by nine wickets in Ahmedabad<br>2011: Fourth Test: England won by an innings and eight runs at The Oval<br>2011: Third Test England won by an innings and 242 runs in Birmingham<br>.2011: Second Test: England won by 319 runs in Nottingham<br>2011: First Test: England won by 196 runs at Lord's

<b>Prediction</b><br>England showed some late fight, thanks to Cook, on day four. They didn't have the legs for the distance of a draw, though, and won't again this time. India to win in five days again.

Online betting firm <a href='' target='_blank' class='instorylink'><b>Sky Bet</b></a> has India at 5/6 and England at 9/2 in the odds to win the second Test. Visit Sky Bet for the latest <a href='' target='_blank' class='instorylink'><b>cricket betting</b></a>.

<b>Probable Teams</b><br><i>India:</i> Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain, wicketkeeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Pragyan Ojha.

<i>England:</i> Alastair Cook (captain), Nick Compton, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Jonny Bairstow, Matt Prior (wicketkeeper), Samit Patel, Monty Panesar, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson.

<b>Dates:</b> 23-27 November<br><b>Morning session:</b> 09:30 – 11:30 (04:00 – 06:00 GMT)<br><b>Afternoon session:</b> 12:10 – 14:10 (06:40 – 08:40 GMT)<br><b>Evening session:</b> 14:30 – 16:30 (09:00 – 11:00 GMT)<br><b>On-field umpires:</b> Aleem Dar and Tony Hill<br><B>Third umpire:</B> Local appointment<BR><b>Match referee:</b> Roshan Mahanama