Well, they saved the worst until last. On the Feast of St Crispin, of all days, the anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt, when gentlemen of England now abed should have thought themselves accursed they were not here, the England led by Alastair Cook were simply wretched.
In being defeated by 95 runs in the fifth one-day international to lose the series 5-0, England suffered their most disastrous batting collapse in limited-overs matches, losing all 10 wickets for 47 runs, falling from 129 for 0 to 176 all out in 17 overs.
It seems ridiculous to reflect that until the point where it all began, India were not playing with any conviction and the tourists had set a firm course for their first victory of the series. Chasing more than they ought to have been, following another crushing innings, of 75 not out in 69 balls, by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, England were going at an irresistible lick.
Between them, the first-wicket pair of Cook, the captain, and Craig Kieswetter, put behind them the miseries of the past fortnight. With nary a false shot, they punished some ineffective bowling with real purpose so that by the end of the 20th over England were 129 without loss.
The match was theirs to lose and, boy, did they lose it. Cook, stuck on the crease, was bowled by a quick ball from the new kid on India's block, Varun Aaron, and in the next over Kieswetter propped forward to a straight one from the left-arm spinner Ravi Jadeja. It never stopped.
Ian Bell, brought back because Kevin Pietersen has a fractured thumb, played an abject six-ball innings.
The two Jonathans, Trott and Bairstow, came and went. England were hopeless against spin yet again and it seemed to go like a top when a couple of wickets fell. The hesitancy of footwork, choice of shot, too often against the turn, was primitive. Ravichandran Ashwin took three wickets with his off-spin and Jadeja four.
Afterwards Cook said: "It was a bit of a shock that. We haven't batted well enough on this tour and that really just capped things off. We bowled really well and Steve Finn was outstanding as he has been all trip. We know you can lose wickets in clusters here but I didn't think you could lose 10. We have lost a lot of these matches because our batting hasn't been good enough."Reuse content