|Venue: Galle Date: 22-26 January Time: 04:30 GMT|
|Coverage: Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, BBC Sounds and BBC Sport website. Live text commentary on BBC Sport website and app.|
England coach Chris Silverwood says it is “always nice to see the opposition under pressure” following Australia’s stunning series defeat by India.
England will attempt to regain the Ashes in Australia later this year.
“It shows that if we do the basics well and get stuck in, we can beat them,” said Silverwood.
Australia captain Tim Paine has come in for criticism over his leadership, wicketkeeping and behaviour during the contest with India.
Although he averaged more than 40 with the bat, Paine’s keeping contained a number of errors and he was forced to apologise for his sledging of the Indians during the third Test in Sydney.
Former England skipper Michael Vaughan told BBC Sport: “Tim Paine, tactically, has not quite been at the races, so pressure will be on him.
“I think he’ll be the captain for the Ashes, but there’s a little area that England can really work on by putting pressure on him.”
On Paine, Silverwood said: “Tim Paine’s captaincy is nothing to do with me, but it’s always nice to see opposition teams under pressure.”
England play nine Tests against India before the Ashes, the first four of which are in India following Joe Root’s side’s current series in Sri Lanka.
India have not lost a home series since England won there in 2012, with a 4-0 defeat on the subsequent visit in 2016 proving to be Alastair Cook’s last series as England captain.
Having won their first Test against Sri Lanka by seven wickets, Silverwood stressed the importance of winning the second Test to secure the series and build momentum for the India challenge.
“If we can go into that series with a 2-0 win it would do us a world of good,” said Silverwood. “All being well by the time we get to India we’ll have hit our straps fully and be ready to hit the first game hard.”
The result in Brisbane has left India top of the World Test Championship table, ahead of New Zealand, with the top two qualifying for the final in England next summer.
England, in fourth, need to beat Sri Lanka and secure a big win in India to have any chance of advancing.
Silverwood confirmed that Moeen Ali, who is out of isolation after testing positive for coronavirus, is unlikely to play on Friday, but all-rounder Chris Woakes is available after isolating for being deemed a close contact.
England are likely to stick with only two frontline spinners in Dom Bess and Jack Leach, but could rotate their fast bowlers.
Stuart Broad, Mark Wood and Sam Curran played in the first Test, with James Anderson, Olly Stone and Woakes options for the second.
Of Stone, who has played only one previous Test, Silverwood said: “I’m excited about him.
“We’ve got Mark Wood, Jofra Archer and Olly Stone who can all bowl over 90mph. It’s great to have that in the armoury.
“Olly hits the deck hard and bowls with pace. He’s getting better and better with the areas he’s bowling, the understanding of what he’s trying to do and the plans he’s putting in place.”