England cricket: Five key questions to answer

Five questions England must answer before tackling the challenges ahead



22:30 GMT, 17 December 2012

After England's superb Test victory in India Sportsmail looks at the challenges ahead of Alastair Cook's side. Here are five pertinent questions.

Can England fit Monty Panesar into their side outside the subcontinent

Graeme Swann is still the No 1 spinner but Panesar has been superb, particularly in taking 11 wickets in Mumbai, and must be in contention for a regular place alongside Swann now. His fielding and batting will hold him back unless England take the plunge, put Matt Prior at six and go for five bowlers. Unlikely unless they fall behind in a series and need to gamble.

Has Nick Compton done enough to cement his place as opener alongside Alastair Cook

He impressed without producing that defining innings. Joe Root’s introduction will crank up the pressure but both could play in New Zealand in February. A top six of Cook, Compton, Trott, Pietersen, Bell and Root may be one attacking strokeplayer light when it comes to taking on the Aussies.

Opener Nick Compton impressed but did not produce a 'defining' innings

Opener Nick Compton impressed but did not produce a 'defining' innings

Do we need to be worried about Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan

Vice-captain Broad’s heel injury has ruled him out of the two Twenty20 matches that conclude this leg of the tour and he must come to terms with being dropped from the Test side for the first time in four years. Bresnan has not looked the same since his elbow operation at the start of this year and didn’t take a wicket in his two Tests here.

Will the new two-coach system work

Neither Andy Flower nor new man Ashley Giles will be around for the Twenty20 matches in Pune on Thursday and Mumbai on Saturday, but Giles will start his new role as limited-overs coach when England return to India for the one-day series next month and how he works alongside team director Flower will be fascinating. England can be backed to make a success of it.

Compatible Can the dual system with team director Andy Flower (right) work

Compatible Can the dual system with team director Andy Flower (right) work

Has Kevin Pietersen been successfully ‘reintegrated’ into the England team

It looks that way. All within the camp confirm that Pietersen has been a model professional in the dressing room here and it is almost like the text saga of last summer never happened. England’s decision to add him to this squad, with Cook the driving force, has been thoroughly vindicated, with his series-defining innings at Mumbai an act of genius.

Picture dispute: We are unable to carry live pictures from the fourth Test in Nagpur due to a dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and international news organisations.

The BCCI has refused access to Test venues to established picture agencies Getty Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies.

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