The second test in this four match cricket series starts in Mumbai on Friday (4am GMT) and with India having won the opener, England have a number of selection issues.
India meanwhile will be buoyant and having dominated for long periods of the contest in Ahmedabad, MS Dhoni will be looking to skipper an unchanged side, barring any injuries.
It’s unlikely that an England side has been as long as 9/2 to win a test for many years and while there may be value in that price, it is hard to see Alastair Cook’s men taking the 20 wickets needed to clinch the game. It may be that the best they can hope for is a draw but some changes in bowling personnel could help to upset those odds.
It was clear by the end of the first day in Ahmedabad that England would have stood a greater chance of getting a positive result had they picked a second spinner. Monty Panesar sat idly on the perimeter as seamers Tim Bresnan and Stuart Broad toiled fruitlessly on a flat deck. While the selectors can be stubborn, Panesar for Bresnan looks an obvious choice in Mumbai and it would surely give the tourists a better chance of levelling the series.
There were additional calls for Steven Finn to replace Broad but news reports have confirmed that the Middlesex paceman isn’t fit enough to get back into the side. The batting will also change as Jonny Bairstow comes in for Ian Bell who is back in England with his new baby, while the selectors will also consider recalling Eoin Morgan in place of Samit Patel at number six.
As for India, they are unlikely to make any changes unless they are enforced through injury. The batting line-up picks itself after Cheteshwar Pujara’s double hundred, together with a century from Virender Sehwag helped their side compile a mammoth total of 521-8 on first innings in the first test.
In the bowling department, the Indian selectors will be aware that England crumbled to the spinners and therefore they may consider recalling Harbhajan Singh in place of one of the seamers. A three-pronged spin attack could cause even more problems for England’s top order and that type of switch wouldn’t be a surprise.
While India are justifiably favourites, there were plenty of positive signs for England in their second innings. After collapsing to 191, the tourists were made to follow on but a total of 406 came close to securing an undeserved draw.
Captain Cook made the headlines with a typically obdurate 176, while Matt Prior made 91 but there was an encouraging performance from Nick Compton at the top of the order. The inclusion of Bairstow and Morgan would help to strengthen that line-up and England may not be so easy to dismiss in Mumbai.
The problem now, is that Cook’s bowlers have to take 20 Indian wickets and the ground staff are unlikely to produce a helpful pitch. A flat and lifeless track could be waiting and the likely outcome here is a high scoring draw.
This preview’s India v England 2nd Test betting tip: Bet on the Draw at 15/8 with Stan James.