England captain Michael Vaughan is confident that his inexperienced spin attack can cope with the unique demands of playing Test cricket in India.
The failure of Warwickshire's Ashley Giles to recover from a hip operation has left England with a trio of spinners boasting only three Test caps among them.
Beating India on home soil is a daunting task at the best of times - they have lost only two of their last ten home series, to South Africa and Australia - but relying on uncapped duo Monty Panesar and Ian Blackwell, as well as Shaun Udal, has made England's challenge all the harder.
But Vaughan, who flew to India with the rest of the 16-man squad last night, is backing the trio to impress immediately.
"Ashley will be dearly missed," said Vaughan, who is hopeful Giles may be able to join the tour at a later date. "He's our experienced spin bowler and we're going to be playing in conditions which will obviously suit the spinners.
"It creates an opportunity for Ian Blackwell, Monty Panesar or Shaun Udal to really step up and make selection difficult for when Ashley comes back - that's exactly what we need."
Vaughan is hoping the three can follow Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen and make a big impact soon after entering the side.
He said: "Over the last couple of years players have missed out and good players have come in and done well straight away. Who's to say Ian Blackwell, Monty Panesar or Shaun Udal can't do exactly the same?
"It's a really good challenge for the team to travel to India to try to play some good cricket.
"It's a great tour and a really good country to visit because of the fanatical side of the game over there."
Vaughan has been particularly impressed by North-amptonshire spinner Panesar, the son of Sikh parents whose appearance in a turban on Indian soil will cause enough interest in itself.
Panesar has caught the eye during practice sessions at the National Academy in Lough-borough although he is hampered by a tailender's batting average.
Vaughan said: "We haven't seen that much of Monty other than in the nets at Loughborough and he's exciting. He certainly seems to have a little bit about him and he's a really good character.
"We know a bit more about Ian Blackwell, because he's been with us in the one-dayers, but when new players come into the team it's an exciting time because you want to see how they react to the situation.
"Monty seems like he has an ability to spin the ball and get some good flight and guile and we're looking forward to working with them all."
India's 1-0 Test series defeat in Pakistan, which followed England's 2-0 reverse there, should not be interpreted as a dip in form as their home results are among the most impressive in the world.
Neither Vaughan nor coach Duncan Fletcher have tasted victory either home or away against India. England last won a series in India in 1984-85. Vaughan said: "It's one of the hardest tours around, you only have to look at their record on home soil to see that. It's a hard tour but I've been there a few times with the A team, the Under-19s and the full team and it's hard but it's very enjoyable.
"The cricket doesn't get any tougher than facing their spinners on a dusty track in Mumbai or bowling at Sachin Tendulkar on a flat track. It's a really tough tour but we'll give it our best shot."
He added: "Playing India in India is very tough but we've overcome tough challenges over the last couple of years which people probably didn't expect us to do - so here's another challenge for us to win for the first time in a while."
England face two warm-up matches in Mumbai and Baroda before the three-Test series starts at Nagpur on March 1. Seven one-day internationals follow.