A loss in the Oval Test for India would complete a 4-0 whitewash for England. (Getty Images)
New Delhi: The bubble had to burst, like all good things, India's golden run too had to end and end it did even though the fall from grace could have been a touch more dignified.
It's been said that whatever Mahendra Singh Dhoni touched turned to gold, so that was probably what was on the Indian skipper's mind when he got rid of his wicket-keeping gloves and took it upon himself to get the job done during the first Test at Lord's, from the bowler's end on this occasion.
Miraculously, the move almost paid off and it was it was only a referral to the third umpire that saved the day for Kevin Pietersen.
But that was it, if one had to go by the stars or the planetary movements then Dhoni's luck had changed, unfortunately for the worse this time around.
Pietersen went on to smack his third double tonner in Tests and the Englishmen have not stopped crowing from then on.
England have gone on to displace the world champions from the top of the Test rankings, never mind that they are yet to show their mettle in sub-continental conditions.
So where did Team India go wrong or rather what have they done right so far that could not be reiterated on their tour of England.
Maybe it's more about the inhabitants of the fool's paradise being shown the mirror, rather than the lost paradise of no longer being number one.
There is no question about the fact that Indian cricketers and fans have been lulled into a false sense of security because of India's 'success' both on and off the field in recent times.
Even the game's officials have had to bear the brunt of the intimidating tactics employed by the team which was evident with the Daryl Harper episode during the Caribbean tour.
The unreasonable itinerary that the Indian players face can be put down to the Board's (BCCI) ambitions of ruling the roost in all three forms of the game.
Dhoni leading the national team to world cup glory and the Chennai Super Kings to their second successive Indian Premier (IPL) title simply camouflaged the critical issues that have now become so apparent.
Players going under the knife before an overseas tour and giving the impression of being disinterested when things are not going according to plan highlight the fact that things were never that hunky dory after all.
Had India grabbed their opportunities during the second Test at Trent Bridge the series would still have been alive but that would only have delayed the inevitable. The skeletons had to come tumbling out of the cupboard sooner or later.
There has been a lot said about tired bodies and minds, but one also can't discount the fact that India's journey of hanging on to the numero uno position included every possible trick in the book, from shunning of the Decision Review System (UDRS), to manufacturing fixtures at home for extra points.
However, there are no shortcuts at the highest level in international sport and India's despicable performance in the ongoing Test series against England is an ugly reminder of just that.