England must survive India's spin - Trott

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Taking 20 wickets and coping with spin will be the key to England's hopes in the Test series against India, according to Jonathan Trott.

Alastair Cook's team begin the first of five matches against the number one side in the ICC rankings on Wednesday, seeking a repeat of their 2012 Test series triumph, which was England's first in India since 1984-85.

And the retired Trott, who was a member of the squad for that tour, has pinpointed what he believes is the secret to beating the subcontinental heavyweights in their backyard. 

"I think it's taking 20 wickets," he told Omnisport.

"In India they produce wickets to suit their spin bowlers a lot more. They realise spin bowling is their strength and they're not really worried about whether the game goes for five days or not. 

"Ravi Ashwin's a fantastic bowler and obviously [Ravindra] Jadeja ... they've got others they can pick from as well. That is certainly the key, playing their spin bowlers. 

"Going away should be a challenge to win. So when you do it, it's a real accomplishment and a feat. We've seen the emergence of a very talented young England team ... India's at the forefront here and it's going to be a fantastic series." 

England go into the contest against India on the back of a frustrating 1-1 draw with Bangladesh, having lost a Test to the Tigers for the first time in Dhaka late last month. 

If the tourists are to respond to that disappointment, they will need Joe Root, the highest-ranked batsman on either side, to be at his best, with Trott describing the Yorkshireman as the team's "lynchpin". 

"If you look at Joe Root, there's no glaring weakness," he said.

"Everything he does, he does so well. He can increase the tempo very quickly in a game but he's got the defence to see off a good bowling spell and then be able to push the scoring on. 

"Being able to score all around the wicket ... improvising - a real bowler's nightmare. A lynchpin of the England side at the moment." 

The first Test takes place at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot, followed by matches in Visakhapatnam, Mohali, Mumbai and Chennai.