MS Dhoni Virat Kohli India
India skipper MS Dhoni and batting star Virat Kohli will need to be at their best to top England in this five-match Test seriesReuters

The fact that there is this massive football tournament which goes by the name of the FIFA World Cup hitting full tilt at the moment has helped India's tour of England go under the radar a little bit. However, once that first red ball is bowled at Trent Bridge come Wednesday to open the first Test of this five match series, those ghosts of 2011 will be reawakened.

Where to Watch Live

Get the report HERE

The 1st Test is scheduled for an 11 pm BST (3.30 pm IST, 6 am ET) start with live coverage on Star Sports 1, Star Sports 3 and Star Sports HD1 in India. The match can also be watched via live streaming online in India HERE. Get the live score HERE. Catch the action in the UK on Sky Sports 2, with the option to live stream HERE. Viewers in the US can watch the game on ESPN 3 with the option to catch the action live online HERE.

Very rarely have India played so badly in this modern era, like they did three years ago. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong in that tour – injuries forced some of the key players to sit out, while the team's fallibilities with the moving ball came to the fore. MS Dhoni did not have enough ammunition in his own bowling armoury to trouble England enough, either, and the skipper, will hope for some serious turnaround starting with the first Test on Wednesday.

The look of this India side is considerably different from the one that took that beating in 2011, but the fact that Dhoni does not have the option of falling back on the experience of the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid will test his captaincy skills to the hilt.

"It is important for us to take the team forward and give them the right guidance, so that they get the right kind of exposure to do well outside India," Dhoni said. "Of course it will be a challenge for them, but as they play a lot more matches abroad, the equation will get much better also. It's a constant process."

And, let's be honest, Dhoni has not shown great tactical nous when it comes to Test matches. Time and again, the wicketkeeper/batsman has shown himself to be a little timid while making crunch decisions, which in turn has cost India in terms of results.

India are also coming off the back of away tour losses to South Africa and the New Zealand. While there were encouraging signs in both of those series', the bottom line was – they lost, when in reality they should have at the very least come away with a draw, or even a win.

"There have been a lot of changes in the Indian side in the last one-and-half or close to two years," Dhoni added. "If you talk about the last two Test series that we played abroad, in South Africa and New Zealand, the performance of our team was really good.

"Though we lost both the series, we were definitely in a position to win the series or a Test. So I felt there's plenty to learn for the cricketers. If I compare between the first Test we played in South Africa and the last Test we played in New Zealand, there has been considerable improvement. You know, it's a right way of moving ahead."

However, the India fans will be a little tired about the "moral results" in the most important format of the game. And in England, Dhoni's men have the best possible opportunity to end the barren run away from home. England are in a bigger rut than India at the moment, with Alastair Cook's side still reeling from the 5-0 Ashes whitewash handed out by Australia last season, which then was made worse by a 1-0 series loss to Sri Lanka a couple of weeks ago.

This England regime are under extreme pressure to prove they made the right decision by discarding Kevin Pietersen, their best batsman, and sticking with Cook, whose captaincy, like Dhoni's is under the five-day format, is under tremendous scrutiny.

Both skippers have been criticised in the past for being too negative, and it will be interesting to see just how they cope with the pressure, especially when things start going awry.

At the end of the day, from India's point of view, it will be whether they have enough bowling firepower to dismiss the England batsmen twice in a match – if the tour matches are anything to go by, the signs are not the greatest.

Team news: England: Wicketkeeper Matt Prior is a slight doubt with a thigh injury, with Jos Buttler called up as cover in case the veteran fails to make it on matchday. However, Cook is confident Prior will be passed fit, leaving Buttler to probably wait a little longer to make his Test debut. A change that could be made for this match, from the one that lost to Sri Lanka, is Ben Stokes, included in the squad, coming in for Chris Jordan, who struggled to penetrate through the Sri Lanka batsmen in the second Test.

India: The major decision for Dhoni and Duncan Fletcher to make is whether to bring in all-rounder Stuart Binny at the expense of a batsman, most probably Rohit Sharma. Dhoni hinted at that particular change as the skipper looks to beef up his bowling attack.

Key men: England: Cook needs runs to lead from the front, and if the left-handed opener yet again struggles to spend time in the middle, England hopes could nose-dive. Also Stuart Broad and James Anderson, who enjoyed much success in 2011, will be raring to tear into India's batsmen again.

India: Virat Kohli is the vital batting cog along with Cheteshwar Pujara – India's No.4 and No.3 will want to stabilise the batting, in case the openers get out quickly, as often as possible, to reduce the burden on the lower middle order. Can the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja, the four bowlers likely to lineup along with Binny, pick up the necessary 20 wickets? That is the million dollar question.

Expected lineups: England: Alastair Cook (capt), Sam Robson, Gary Balance, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Matt Prior, Ben Stokes, Stuart Broad, Liam Plunkett, James Anderson.

India: Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni (capt), Stuart Binny, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma.