This has the potential to turn ugly for England. Extremely ugly. All the rich promise and high hopes of only five days ago are in severe danger of foundering on terrain where lower hopes and lesser promise have crashed so often before.
From first to last, which did not take long, they were behind India in the second one-day international and duly lost by eight wickets to go 2-0 behind in a series of five matches. India still had 80 balls at their disposal.
Virat Kohli scored his seventh one-day hundred and his second against England in three matches. In Cardiff last month he finished on the losing side; on this occasion there was never a squeak of that happening. Kohli put on an unbroken 209 with Gautam Gambhir from 179 balls.
When England last came to India for one-dayers three years ago they lost 5-0, the tour before that it was 6-1. But this time it was supposed to be different for a side which feels it is going places, notably the 2015 World Cup.
Perhaps it is simply a matter of being unable to come to terms with different pitches in unfamiliar conditions against a side which is overwhelmingly grateful to be back where they belong.
To say that India toyed with England is to give the impression that they were simply enjoying a pleasant afternoon and evening in the sun. Come to think of it, that is about what it was.
"It is a concern that we have suffered two heavy defeats," said England's captain, Alastair Cook. "Only the players can turn this round, we came into this series as prepared as we could be. Conditions play a huge part and we're struggling here as India struggled in England, but I believe we can play well here."
England are neither scoring enough runs nor taking enough wickets. Too many batsmen got in last night without staying in.
Sensing that the total was insufficient, England attacked zealously from the start. They also let India know they were in the country by launching a sequence of verbal skirmishes. To no avail. Spin or seam, slow or fast, India did much as they liked. Kohli and Gambhir batted with increasing command, taking advantage of a fast outfield.
England's biggest failing was that they lost wickets in clumps. Before the second over was out, so were both England's openers. Cook cut his fourth ball to point, Craig Kieswetter edged his fifth to slip. But to show that the team meant it when it said it had fight, Jonathan Trott took the attack to the opposition. He struck seven sweet boundaries before he went, innocuously nicking to the keeper.
Still, England rebuilt. Kevin Pietersen struck two booming straight sixes, borrowed from a manual he seemed to have mislaid. Ravi Bopara was bouncy and determined. Within two overs they were both gone, Pietersen being too easily lured into driving at a wide one, Bopara missing an off-break.
In came Jonathan Bairstow and Samit Patel for another rescue act. They placed the ball carefully and were biding their time in a stand of 86. In successive overs they too were out and England fell apart.
Two early wickets were a false portent. If the tourists were searching for an upside, they could be relieved that at last they found a way to deal with India's captain, M S Dhoni – ensure he does not bat.
Second one-day international, at Feroz Shah Kotla India beat England by eight wickets
England won toss
Runs 6s 4s Bls Min
*A N Cook c Jadeja b P S Kumar 0 0 0 4 1
†C Kieswetter c Kohli b R Vinay Kumar 0 0 0 5 7
I J L Trott c Dhoni b R Vinay Kumar 34 0 7 37 40
K P Pietersen c Dhoni b Yadav 46 2 3 55 90
R S Bopara lbw b Ashwin 36 0 4 50 50
J M Bairstow c Kohli b Jadeja 35 0 3 49 71
S R Patel lbw b Yadav 42 2 2 53 61
T T Bresnan c Raina b R Vinay Kumar 12 0 1 13 18
G P Swann b R Vinay Kumar 7 0 1 7 6
S T Finn not out 6 0 0 13 16
J W Dernbach run out 3 0 0 4 9
Extras (lb5 w11) 16
Total(48.2 overs) 237
Fall: 1-0, 2-0, 3-48, 4-121, 5-121, 6-207, 7-211, 8-227, 9-229.
Bowling: P S Kumar 9-1-40-1, R Vinay Kumar 9-1-30-4, V Kohli 5-0-18-0, U Yadav 8.2-0-50-2, R Ashwin 10-0-56-1, R A Jadeja 7-0-38-1.
Runs 6s 4s Bls Min
P A Patel c Cook b Bresnan 12 0 2 17 15
A M Rahane c Dernbach b Bresnan 14 1 1 15 31
G Gambhir not out 84 0 10 90 147
V Kohli not out 112 0 16 98 131
Extras (lb3 w13) 16
Total(for 2, 36.4 overs) 238
Fall: 1-14, 2-29.
Did not bat: S K Raina, *†M S Dhoni, R A Jadeja, R Ashwin, R Vinay Kumar, U Yadav, P S Kumar.
Bowling: T T Bresnan 7-1-41-2, S T Finn 9-0-50-0, J W Dernbach 5.4-0-41-0, G P Swann 8-0-52-0, R S Bopara 3-0-21-0, S R Patel 2-0-17-0, K P Pietersen 2-0-13-0.
Umpires: B F Bowden (NZ) and S K Tarapore.
India lead five-match series 2-0.