As in Vizag this week, England walked off the field in Ahmedabad in 2012 with a whopping defeat against their names - beaten by nine wickets - to go 1-0 down in the series. But there wasn't any panic in the group. I remember we had a relaxing evening on the roof terrace after the match, it was a good night. It wasn't a massive debrief or anything, there weren't any Churchillan speeches, but we just chatted as a group.

Despite the margin of defeat, we had actually finished the match not feeling too bad about life. After being asked to follow-on, we showed plenty of spirit - and skill - in the second innings and it made a huge difference, helping to instil the belief that we could play their bowling. It was nice to help set the tone with Alastair Cook, and as a team we grew from there.

We knew if we could keep India out there, bowling for longer and longer, that would take them out of their comfort zone, and we felt they would crack before we did. I think we took them by surprise, they looked lacklustre at times. Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir were past their best. They had all the names, but I'm not sure it was their best side.

It is difficult to draw direct parallels between that England side and this one. In 2012, it was very much a ready-made team. If you look at the ages, we were pretty experienced, even I, on debut, had been around first-class cricket for a while. But as we did in that second innings in Ahmedabad, this England side have shown over the first two Tests of this series that they can compete with India.

You have to get the India players out of their comfort zone, which is what we managed to do four years ago after the opening defeat. The pressure can quickly turn in their backyard. Questions are now being asked of Ajinkya Rahane, despite what is a very impressive overall record. If England can keep forcing these questions to be asked, it can escalate.

There is one glaring difference and that's in the spin department, which has been well documented for a long time now. In Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar we had one of England's great pairings. But Monty, who was magnificent in Kolkata and Mumbai, had not actually played the first Test, where we went with three quicks alongside Swann and Samit Patel. However, it soon became apparent that two quicks and two spinners was the way forward. I remember standing at extra cover to Monty and you always felt in the game; it never felt like India had a plan for either him or Swann.

This time, England again have to decide who their best bowlers are. There is an argument to say they need to play to their strengths with an extra quick. They can still play two spinners, and Adil Rashid's improvement on this tour - which has been one of the most impressive parts of the first two games - suggests he is now far less of a gamble to play as one of a pair. Zafar Ansari has found it tough, and what is really his role?

I've always believed you play your best bowlers, whether they be spinners or seamers. Only people in the camp can judge how individuals are going. How is Steven Finn bowling? He was superb in the Kolkata Test in 2012 but he can struggle, like many bowlers, coming in from the cold. He has played once in Bangladesh but has had precious little cricket since the English season. Still, a fourth quick - be it Finn or Jake Ball - could bring more value than a third spinner. There is talk of Gareth Batty, but if he was so good, he'd have been playing already.

There is one element out of England's control that they really need some luck with: the toss. You can't say it wasn't important in Vizag. You also saw, when England had the chance to bat first in Rajkot, that they were able to put pressure on India.

In 2012 we managed to win in Mumbai and Kolkata despite losing the toss and having to bowl first, bowling India out for 327 and 316 in the two first innings, but hand on heart, I'm not sure I can see that happening this time around. I'm naturally positive about this England team, I believe it's a very good team with some match-changing players - it certainly isn't beyond them to win a Test - but the toss is looking important. You could see the look in Cook's eyes when he lost it in Vizag, because he knows the resources at his disposal.

This is another big challenge for Cook the captain. I couldn't understand his use of Moeen Ali, for example, in Vizag. On the 2012 tour he was a raw captain - it was his first series as full-time skipper - but in Swann and Panesar he had two spinners he could basically put on and they did their job. For periods there wasn't a lot of captaining to do, and if needed, Swann would help him out. This time he doesn't have that luxury.

It was also very much Andy Flower's team. He would do more of the talking and led the intensity. But now it's very different. Trevor Bayliss believes it's Alastair's team and he runs things completely. The main thing that Trevor has brought to this England team - and you've seen it in the last two Tests - is the fight, attitude and commitment. Even when they've been down in this series, that hasn't wavered. The second innings with the ball in Vizag typified that. I think India would have struggled in the final innings on that surface. You can pick holes in England, but it wasn't easy.

It's important to hold your team spirit together when things get tough. It was something we were conscious of in 2012 and I really don't think that will be an issue with this side. It's a very good environment. Alastair is very big on staying together, not becoming too individualistic.

England can turn this around. I do not think this is a superstar India team. They are very good at playing from the front in their home conditions, but get them on the back foot and there's a vulnerability there to be exposed.

As told to Andrew McGlashan