England's dramatic capitulation against Bangladesh in Dhaka has prompted fears of a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of India this winter. The number one-ranked team in the world are sure to be licking their lips at the prospect of facing Alastair Cook's side on dry, turning pitches.
So, given that England are devoid of a Test-class spin bowler and have some obvious technical failings against the turning ball, how can the Three Lions approach the series? Well, they should at least play to their own strengths, rather than trying to beat India at their own game.
Here, IBTimes UK constructs a line-up that ought to compete with Virat Kohli's men.
The captain has an ultra-impressive record on the subcontinent, having proven himself to be one of the best non-Asian batsmen in Asian conditions. While he lacks the range of stroke needed to dominate an attack, Cook remains an inspirational figure and a reference points for his younger teammates.
At just 19, the slow, low pitches England will encounter in India are sure to be alien to the young Lancastrian – but his Geoffrey Boycott-like approach at the crease could give England the solid start they are seeking. Plus, Hameed's inclusion would help to create a much-needed left-right partnership at the top of the order.
Much will be made of the Root versus Kohli battle during the series, of course ... what is not open for debate is that the Yorkshireman is the most talented, versatile player in the England team. Root's performances in India will be crucial to how England fare, especially as he is a brilliant player of the turning ball.
The Northants batsman opened in Bangladesh but his game is better suited to the middle order, where his array of sweeps and reverse sweeps could unsettle India's spin bowlers. Having grown up on the turning tracks of Wantage Road, Duckett should not fear the challenge he faces in India.
The all-rounder will never offer the control England want with the ball, but his wicket-taking threat allied to his stylish batsmanship has made Ali a key component of the England side. Like Duckett, he is capable of taking the attack to India's spinners.
Perhaps the most exciting cricketer in the world today, Stokes can bowl in excess of 90mph and hit the ball as far as anyone. However, his batting technique is sure to be tested on the spinning pitches of the subcontinent, where he will need to be decisive with his footwork.
With the ball, meanwhile, Stokes should be able to exploit whatever reverse swing is on offer during the series.
The Yorkeshireman, like Stokes, would prefer to be facing a battery of fast bowlers on bouncy pitches, but he too will need to adapt his game accordingly. Whether he's got the patience to wait for a bad ball remains to be seen.
In the space of 12 months, Woakes has emerged as a crucial member of the England side. And in the absence of the record-breaking Jimmy Anderson, the Warwickshire man will be handed the new ball. With the bat, meanwhile, Woakes is among the most technically accomplished members of the side.
England 's spinners are never going to outbowl India's. But selecting Ansari would give Cook the option of having the left-arm spinner bowler over the wicket outside the leg stump of the hosts' right-handed batsman with a packed leg-side field. It is a dull, negative approach – but it would give Cook a degree of control and allow him to rotate his more potent seamers from the other end.
The blonde star is the one standout fast bowler on either side and while he suffered a miserable tour of India in 2012, when he left the trip prematurely, Broad is always capable of match-winning spells. If England encounter a pitch that offers any movement, Broad will be their go-to man, while he is also a skilled exponent of reverse swing.
Logic would dictate that England pick three spinners in India – but their seamers are simply more likely to take wickets. For that reason, the increasingly-impressive Ball ought to be picked ahead of Steven Finn, owing to his superior recent form. Like his more experienced colleagues, Ball is capable of reverse swinging the older ball and he bowls a mean yorker, too.
Whether that team is actually capable of winning the five-match series remains to be seen. It is, though, capable of pushing the hosts to their limits – which is, at least, a starting point.