Geoff Boycott, one of England's greatest batsmen, insists the team must substantially improve their batting if they are to rescue the Test series against India.

England lost the second Test on Monday by nine wickets in Mohali and have just one opportunity to level the series in the final game beginning on Saturday in Mumbai.

Captain Andrew Flintoff led by example scoring 70 and 51 but only Kevin Pietersen (64), Geraint Jones (52) and Ian Bell (57) of the other batsmen offered any meaningful contributions as the team were bowled out for 300 in the first innings before slumping to 181 all out in the second.

Now Boycott is calling for the batsmen to make considerable improvements.

Boycott said: "We need to win the batting and I don't think we do. Somebody has got to make 100 each match. I only feel Pietersen and Flint-off are really going to dictate terms and that is the difference."

Boycott, who made his last appearance for England on tour in India in 1982, believes the batsmen are making too many errors giving an impression they are about to capitulate.

"Too many batsmen either made silly mistakes or batted nicely for a time and then got themselves out," he said.

"The batting failed in Pakistan and England are still not making enough first-innings runs to put themselves in match-winning positions.

"England's batting always looks capable of self-destructing. We have people who flatter to deceive and who are not solid enough.

"People like Andrew Strauss are playing too many big shots and making too many mistakes. Individuals need to start making bigger scores and someone has to go on and make a hundred."

The Yorkshire legend did however reserve praise for skipper Flintoff.

"I thought that Andrew Flintoff batted absolutely superbly in both innings and showed how England should be playing (bowler Anil) Kumble by getting a big stride in and getting forward."

Boycott's words might not be welcomed by England play-ers and coaches alike, but Duncan Fletcher echoed the legend's words of praise for Flintoff.

"It is a huge ask for him," said Fletcher, of Flintoff's triple responsibility, as the team

arrived in Mumbai. "He batted magnificently - it is nice to see how he has come on against spin, he played it very effectively.

"That was an area he had struggled with if you have to criticise his game. He is bowling as well as ever and on top of that he has captained well.

"You couldn't ask for a more difficult job for an individual, playing those two roles.

"And then to captain an inexperienced side on top is a huge ask and he is doing it very well."