Lots to ponder for beaten England

PA Sport
Monty Panesar could be set for an England recall on Friday
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Monty Panesar could be set for an England recall on Friday

England will doubtless avoid dwelling on their nine-wicket defeat in Ahmedabad, but know too they must learn its lessons if they are to fight back in their four-Test series against India.

A four-man middle-order engine room of Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell and Samit Patel mustered just 68 runs in their eight innings in the first Test while a three-man pace attack took just one wicket for 245 runs. The facts beg obvious questions about the right balance and personnel for the next Test, starting in Mumbai on Friday.

Changes will come with Bell already back in England to attend the birth of his first child but, when asked specifically whether England may consider picking Monty Panesar as a second specialist spinner alongside Graeme Swann, captain Alastair Cook said: "Clearly we're going to have to look at our selection."

He went on: "There are some good people making decisions in this England team, and we thought we were doing the right thing for the side.

"The result showed that we might have got it wrong.

"We'll have to look at our squad - we've got some good players - for the next game."

Should slow left-armer Panesar return for the first time since the defeat against Sri Lanka at Galle in March, England - who are averse to picking five bowlers - will have to decide which seamer must make way.

"Clearly, when you get beaten by nine wickets, you have a look at a lot of areas - what we could have done better," added Cook. "There will be a lot to ponder.

"If we're going to win series out here, everyone in the game has to contribute. There's absolutely no doubt about that. We need everyone to stick their hands up at certain times.

"The lads who haven't performed as well as they would have liked in this game will be very disappointed. But that's cricket, and we'll have to bounce back strong as a team on Friday."

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