India might have been transported to another world, a world so unfamiliar that their senses were befuddled, their physical prowess lost, their lifetime’s knowledge entirely inadequate. One by one their batsman came and went as they underwent the third heaviest Test defeat in their history.
This is an Indian side built on immense wealth and hubris, that has become used to a feeling of power, which has come to view its early history as an aberration, yet they were poverty stricken against an England side once again relishing perfect swing and seam bowling conditions.
India batted as if they had no sense of time and place, but for the record on August 17, 2014, in south London, they foundered to 94 all out in only 29.2 overs. Against the same England side that was beaten by Sri Lanka in a two-Test series in May, India have insisted on five Tests crammed into six weeks and once the series turned they had no respite.
Less than four weeks ago, India secured an historic win at Lord’s to go 1-0 up in the Investec series. They have since been trounced three times: by 266 runs at the Ages Bowl, by an innings and 54 on a relatively quick pitch at Old Trafford, and now by an innings and 244 runs.
England’s 3-1 series win was secured in a quite remarkable transformation. When it was indicated that Alastair Cook was a captain under pressure, it was clear that the media meant MS Dhoni; when the coaching influence of Peter Moores was questioned, obviously what should have been written was Duncan Fletcher.
Not since 1977 have India been dismissed for less than 200 five times in succession. Since they made 178 in the second innings in Southampton, they have been dismantled for 152, 161, 148 and, finally, for 94 by an England attack that, as well it has bowled, must have viewed the disintegration as barely credible.