In the latest in our series of podcasts during England's tour of India, John Pennington and Chetan Narula discuss the opening Test win for India in Ahmedabad and then look ahead to the second Test in Mumbai.
There are two ways to look at Alastair Cook's batting. One, in this era of slam-bang cricket, it is enough to forcefully convert any Test doubters into ready T20 fans. Such is the non-glorified manner of his run-scoring; and two, for any five-day aficionados still remaining, it is a super-effective manner of scoring runs, irrespective of conditions.
It is the second point which describes Cook's existence at the head of England's batting order, more so after the departure of Andrew Strauss.
England's options ahead of the second Test against India which begins in Mumbai on Friday (23rd November) have been further limited by Steven Finn's latest thigh injury.
He suffered an injury in the opening match of the tour against India 'A' and has now picked up another injury, which leaves England short of alternatives on the quick bowling front.
England's brave fightback eventually came to nothing in Ahmedabad as India reasserted their dominance of the opening Test by completing a nine-wicket win on the final day.
Following on, England managed to post 406 in their second innings and however creditworthy that was, it left India the simple task of knocking off 77 to win, which they achieved for the loss of Virender Sehwag's wicket.
Virender Sehwag isn't an easy man to impress. He didn't have much praise for the Motera pitch at the end of the first day. "The bounce isn't good and it will be hard to score runs as the game progresses," he said, putting his century in perspective as if there was a need to do so. This despite a first Test century in two years, so one can safely assume as much for the rest of the players too, all barring two.
When asked about the recently re-laid pitch at Ahmedabad, both Graeme Swann and Cheteshwar Pujara had no qualms about it.
India stormed into an assuming position at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad on day two of the first Test against England, after piling up the runs and then strangling the visitors' top order.
After declaring their first innings on 521 for eight, in which Cheteswhar Pujara was unbeaten on 206, they snared three English wickets to leave the tourists tottering at 41 for three.
While it could have been a lot worse for the tourists had Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli not fallen cheaply, it could and should have been a lot better. Dropped catches allowed Virender Sehwag and Kohli extra opportunities and while Kohli couldn't take advantage, Sehwag certainly did. Gautam Gambhir might have been stumped and Cheteshwar Pujara could have been caught by James Anderson but for a misjudgment.
A cricket video for Cricket World TV about the latest cricket news as we look ahead to the opening Test between India and England which begins on 15th November in Ahmedabad.
This could be the final time that Sachin Tendulkar dons the whites - he has said that during this series he will make a decision on his future. However, there is plenty more to look forward to as two of the best teams in the world clash in the first of four Tests.
England head in to their first Test against India completely friendless with punters according to Ladbrokes, who have released their latest cricket betting odds for the series.
India are strongly fancied to get off to a flier at 8/11 with England left untouched as the 4/1 underdogs, even with the inclusion of Kevin Pietersen. And it's not looking too promising either for Andy Flower's side in the outright betting with India looking home and dry as the odds-on favourites at 8/15.
During India's four-Test series with England, Cricket World will be producing a series of special features as the two fierce rivals - and former top-ranked sides - clash in Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Kolkata and Nagpur.
First, here are a series of four podcasts with Chetan and JP looking ahead to the series - focusing on India's squad selection, team line-up, tactics, the return of Kevin Pietersen and England's problems playing spin.
4-0. This was the score line when India last engaged England in battle for Test supremacy, and in many ways, it made for a poignant marker in cricket history.
It was the beginning of the end of the great Indian middle order, one hastened by another body blow shortly afterwards in Australia. With eight return Tests, this time in the sub-continent, most people will tell you this winter for team India is all about revenge. Truth be told, a lot more is at stake.
England have confirmed that fast bowler Steven Finn will miss the opening Test against India due to the thigh injury he picked up in the opening match of the tour.
Meanwhile, India have called up Ashok Dinda to cover for Ishant Sharma, who is doubtful with a viral illness for the match which begins in Ahmedabad on 15th November.
England didn't put too much effort into trying to force a win on the final day of their warm-up match, and shook hands with the Haryana players with 10 overs still to be bowled despite needing only four more wickets to win.
They had earlier declined to declare until having passed 250 in their second innings, leaving Haryana an impossible 442 to win from around two sessions.
England decided against declaring on the second day of their warm-up match against Haryana and were eventually all out for 521.
They were then made to work hard for their wickets by the Haryana top-order as Rahul Dewan and Sunny Singh both passed 50.
England's batsmen dominated the Haryana attack on day one of their final tour game before the first Test, which starts in a week's time.
Kevin Pietersen continued his "reintegration" program with a dazzling century, while Alastair Cook, Nick Compton and Ian Bell all made half-centuries as England XI closed on 408 for four.
England off-spinner Graeme Swann has returned home from India to spend time with his family after his young daughter was taken ill.
Swann, England's first-choice slow bowler, made his Test debut in India in 2008 and is anticipating returning in time for the opening match which begins in Ahmedabad on 15th November.
Fast bowlers Steven Finn and Stuart Board are both unlikely to feature in England's final warm-up game ahead of the opening Test against India.
England take on Haryana in a three-day game which offers a final opportunity for players - notably openers Nick Compton and Joe Root - to push for a starting place.
England drew the second of three tour games ahead of the first Test against India which begins on 15th November, closing day three against Mumbai A on149 for two in their second innings - 208 runs ahead.
There were runs for Jonathan Bairstow and Nick Compton and although bowlers Monty Panesar and Samit Patel also impressed, England lost Stuart Broad to a heel injury.
India have recalled Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh and Murali Vijay to their squad for the first two Tests against England, leaving out Suresh Raina.
Raina led India 'A' in a drawn tour game against England but has been overlooked with Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane included as specialist batsmen along with Yuvraj.