Billed as the revenge series, India would aim to pay England back in the same coin when the two teams renew cricketing rivalry when they go into what promises to be an engrossing four-match Test rubber in Ahmedabad on Thursday.
India had suffered a humiliating 0-4 series whitewash when
they had visited England in July-August last year and would like to avenge the defeat on the back of its spinners in favourable home conditions.
Sachin Tendulkar bats during a practice session in Ahmadabad. India and England are scheduled to play four cricket tests in Ahmedabad. (AP Photo)
England have not won a Test series in India in nearly 28 years and reversing the trend would a tough job for the world number two team.
They have been handicapped by the leg-injury to their 6-foot 7-inch fast bowler Steven Finn, who could trouble the Indian batsmen with his steep bounce even on the slow pitches.
Finn had little cricket under his belt since landing on the country's shores as he picked up a thigh muscle strain on the first day of their tour opening game in Mumbai.
Indian paceman Ishant Sharma is down with viral fever but he was not in the running for a place in the playing eleven ahead of Zaheer Khan and Umesh Yadav, who are likely to open the new ball attack for the home side.
Ashok Dinda has been called up as late cover for Sharma but would warm the bench barring a last-minute injury to Zaheer or Yadav.
India's main weapon would be the spin trio of Pragyan Ojha, Ravichandran Ashwin and veteran Harbhajan Singh, who has been included in the side after a gap of more than a year.
Off-spinner Ashwin and left-arm spinner Ojha have played only a handful of Tests in their budding careers but have proved that they could bowl well in tandem in helpful home conditions.
Ashwin had grabbed the man of the series awards in the last two home series ? against the West Indies last year and New Zealand this August. Ojha had complemented him nicely.