Jonathan Trott has failed to recover from his shoulder injury in time for the third npower Test at Edgbaston, and was therefore omitted from a 13-man squad announced this morning.
Ravi Bopara, rather than the uncapped James Taylor, replaces him - and England have also named Steven Finn as fast-bowling cover for Chris Tremlett, who is expected to be fit after his hamstring trouble and back spasms.
It was hoped Trott, who injured himself diving in the field during England's 319-run victory over India in the second Test at Nottingham, would be ready for Birmingham.
But, having been an ever-present at number three in England's successful Ashes triumph last winter and playing in 23 consecutive Tests since making a series-clinching century on debut against Australia at The Oval in 2009, the 30-year-old will be on the sidelines as his team-mates try to create more history this week on his home ground.
Should England win to go 3-0 up on India, with just one to play, they will usurp their opponents as the number one team in the International Cricket Council Test rankings.
That is a position never previously occupied by England. But having apparently failed to make the expected progress after spraining a shoulder joint, Trott will not be part of it.
National selector Geoff Miller said: "Ravi Bopara comes in for Jonathan Trott, who is continuing his rehabilitation from his shoulder injury.
"Chris Tremlett is recovering well from the back spasms that ruled him out of the second Test - and although we are expecting him to be fully fit ahead of Wednesday, we felt it was prudent to include an extra seam bowler at this stage.
"That means Steven Finn comes into the squad."
Bopara has played 10 Tests for England but none since August 2009.
Miller added: "We have seen some very pleasing performances during the first two npower Test matches.
"But there is still plenty more to do in this series, and the squad and management will be determined to carry the momentum from recent weeks through to the remaining two Tests and push for a comprehensive series victory."