The second Test between India and England starts on Friday and all the wonderful memories of Alastair Cook's brilliant second innings century aside, the visitors will need a vastly improved all-round performance to restore parity in the series. MS Dhoni's men rode on a century from opener Virender Sehwag, a magnificent double ton from Cheteshwar Pujara and match figures of 9/165 from left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha, to record a commanding nine-wicket win at Ahmadabad. Can England script a different result in Mumbai?

England Coach Andy Flower (L) and Captain Alastair Cook


India vs England


Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai


Live coverage for the Test will be on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 1 HD, from 3.30 am GMT to 12 pm GMT every day. Radio commentary will be available on BBC 5 live sports extra.


The Indians outplayed England in almost every department in the first Test and had it not been for Cook's important 176 in the second innings, the visitors would almost certainly have left with an innings defeat. The captain made an equally critical contribution in the first innings (41) to underline not only his importance to the side but also the lack of application from his team mates. Matt Prior was the only other batsman to offer any sort of resistance, with 48 and 91 in the two innings. The English have an unenviable task at Mumbai - to keep Ojha and Ravichandran Ashwin out and the scoreboard ticking over, because, in addition to Pujara and Sehwag, all-rounder Yuvraj Singh (74) and opener Gautam Gambhir (45) showed good touch in the Indian innings.

There will also be attention on Kevin Pietersen, after the hard-hitting right-hander was dismissed for 17 and 2 (both times by Ojha) in the first Test. The South Africa-born Pietersen doesn't have a particularly strong record in India, with only 384 runs in 11 innings in his career. And the last time he played in Mumbai, in 2006, he made 46 over two innings.

The batting aside, England will also need to improve the bowling. Graeme Swann was absolutely brilliant in the first Test, finishing with 5/144, his best ever innings return in India. Unfortunately, the spinner was not backed by the faster bowlers, with James Anderson (1/75 off 27) the only seamer to provide any sort of penetration. In addition, the second spinner in the side - Samit Patel - was nowhere near as effective as Swann and finished with 1/96 and that may persuade Cook to replace him with Monty Panesar.

There may also be changes in the batting order, with Eoin Morgan waiting in the wings. Both Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott had poor outings in the first Test, managing only 39 runs between their four innings. Opener Nick Compton fared marginally better, putting 37 together in the second innings... and that will probably allow him to retain his place. Cook also has Jonny Bairstow as an option. The Yorkshire right-hander may have only four Test caps to his name but does have experience of playing the Indians and could make a useful contribution.

Meanwhile, the Indians would obviously have preferred to name the same side as the first Test but an injury to seamer Umesh Yadav means he is unlikely to play. Dhoni has Ashok Dinda and Ishant Sharma to choose between and is likely to opt for the more experienced Sharma. Although, considering the English have never seen debutant Dinda in action, he might be an interesting pick. Ultimately though, with the need for two specialist spinners, experience should triumph over youth in this case. The hosts are unlikely to make any other changes to the squad.


The Wankhede pitch will likely favour spinners from very early on, particularly with Dhoni and former Test star Rahul Dravid both calling for spinner-friendly pitches. And with India still smarting from the drubbing in the summer's tour of England, expect Cook and co. to face another trial by spin in Mumbai.

The famous Mumbai ground is usually also a high-scoring strip, with the West Indies scoring 590 last year and India replying with 482 in the same match. England's highest scores at the Wankhede are 400 (in 2006) and 347 (in 1993) but the alarming fact is they have only won twice in six Tests (and lost three).