When England set out on the tour of India they would have pencilled in Mohali as their most likely place to secure a win.

Last week's draw in Nagpur, which Andrew Flintoff's fledgling side dictated for long periods has increased the confidence that victory can be achieved at the Punjab Cricket Association headquarters.

It is one of India's newest grounds and is something of an anomaly in this spin-friendly country; seamers have dominated all but one of the half-dozen Tests to be played here.

The only exception was on England's last visit in December 2001 when batting collapses in both innings - the last eight wickets in the first fell for just 66 runs - contributed to the home spinners claiming three-quarters of the dismissals.

With England's strength so obviously in the pace department, the cooler climate of the north of the country will add to the sense of contentment.

''I have played here before and there is a bit more in it for the seamers,'' said captain Flintoff.

''The conditions here suggest a little bit more bounce and a little bit more pace, so possibly we have a decent chance of winning.

''The one thing we learnt last time was wickets were hard to come by and while we were not taking wickets we had to keep the runs down to build pressure that way. That is probably something we have taken on from last time - we are not coming into the unknown in touring India.

''We know the conditions, the heat, the pitches, their batters.''

Despite the ten-wicket defeat here four winters ago, Mohali will hold special memories for both Flintoff and Matthew Hoggard - it was the start of a series which shaped their bowling careers at Test level.

Thrown into a mish-mash of an attack due to the absence of experienced duo Darren Gough and Andrew Caddick and the inability of Craig White to reproduce firebrand deliveries of old, they began the series steadily and by the end of it shared the new ball.

They have both played 47 Tests for England since the start of that three-match campaign. Hoggard's return of 185 wickets represents a tally 33 greater than that of his new captain.

Hoggard wins his 50th cap this week, having delivered one of the best performances of his career on a lifeless Nagpur surface lacking lateral movement, to deservedly claim the man-of-the-match award.

Despite the rain overnight the surface at the PCA Stadium is expected to be dry, whichever pitch is chosen.

Although Test pitches in England are marked out, often weeks in advance, it is not unusual to prepare two at once on the sub-continent as groundsman Daljit Singh has done over the past fortnight.

Mohali does encourage reverse swing and that in turn may result in the tourists being reacquainted with Munaf Patel, their destroyer in the defeat to an Indian Board President's XI in the build-up to the series.

Similarly England will consider selecting Liam Plunkett in place of second spinner Ian Blackwell, a move which would give them four pace options and not affect the depth of the batting. It has been seamers rather than out-and-out quicks who have done the damage.

Flintoff, meanwhile, has warned England not to get carried away with their excellent start.

''As long as we do the basic things we did last week it should stand us in good stead,'' he said.

''The one thing we can't do now is get complacent because we have competed with India and probably outplayed them for the bulk of the Test match. We can't now think we are better than we are and get above our station.''