England back to square one
The slaughter is over, it's time for the inquest.
Having arrived in India with high hopes after dominating Mahendra Dhoni's side all summer, England have been brought down to earth with a very painful bump.
The 5-0 one-day whitewash suffered by Alastair Cook's men was an all-too-familiar story, with England's players found wanting on the slow, turning pitches of the subcontinent, and suffering old-fashioned thrashings in four of the matches.
England have now won just one of their last 18 one-day matches against India in India, and just five of their last 20 away games against any side.
No.1 in the Test rankings, England are a distant fifth in the one-day table and appear no closer to mastering the requirements of the 50-over format, especially in unfamiliar conditions.
I chatted to former England players Ed Smith and Matthew Hoggard - BBC Test Match Special pundits for the series in India - about where it all went wrong for Cook and his team, and where they go from here.
Cook averaged only 26.60 in a difficult series in India. Photo: Getty
England's single biggest failing in the series was their inability to bat out the 50 overs in four of the five matches. Too many England batsmen got starts but failed to turn them into the kind of contributions that win matches, their utter bamboozlement in the face of spin bowling summed up by the startled look in Jonny Bairstow's eyes after his stumps were rearranged by Ravindra Jadeja in Mumbai. In total, England's batmen managed one individual innings of more than 70 runs all series. India's racked up seven.
"The lesson England have learned is that you don't leave it to other people when you are in India," says Smith. "The conditions are so different to what most English players are used to that if you do get a start you have a huge responsibility to do the job, to go on and get a big score.
"If you look at the top of the innings, four of England's five innings started with a maiden. It's not just about getting fours and sixes away in the first 10 overs. It is about taking the pressure off and getting some momentum. England allowed too many dot balls."
English cricket's pin-up boy was looking like a jaded retiree by the end of a chastening fortnight. Although England's failings were largely technical rather than tactical, Cook's field placings were often too defensive, while some of the blame for his players' poor body language and indiscipline must be laid at the captain's door.
"Cook could learn a lot from how Dhoni captained in the field," says Hoggard. "As soon as he thought of something, he did it. He didn't wait for the next ball.
"Sometimes he put people in unorthodox positions but there was always a point to it. Alastair Cook's attitude was a little bit more 'we'll see what happens'. He was more reactive than proactive."
Graeme Swann only took two wickets in the series. Photo: Getty
THE KIESWETTER CONUNDRUM
Once again there was plenty of style but not a huge amount of substance from Craig Kieswetter. The Somerset stumper hit more sixes (five) than any other player except Dhoni but only scored 135 runs in five innings. And after a patchy series with the gloves, are England any closer to finding the pinch-hitting wicket-keeper batsman they so badly crave?
"We've seen the best and the worst of Craig Kieswetter on this tour," says Smith. "He has taken some unbelievably good catches but he also missed a couple as well.
"With the bat, he tends to be quite binary, he tends to decide when to hit it miles but to allow a lot of dot balls.
"I think the selectors are still making their mind up about Kieswetter. But there is a balance to be struck between trying to find the right person and chopping and changing too much.
"They have tried Steven Davies, they have tried Matt Prior and now Kieswetter. I think they are trying to get a bit of stability there and by giving him a big long run then they can make their mind up."
With the exception of Steve Finn, who troubled all the India batsmen with his pace and aggression, none of the England bowlers really enhanced their reputations on this tour.
Graeme Swann was out-performed by the relatively unknown twirlers Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin, Tim Bresnan was inconsistent and Jade Dernbach went from death bowler to drinks carrier in the space of a week.
Samit Patel leaked runs at six an over, while Stuart Meaker and Scott Borthwick were thrown in at the deep end and just about stayed afloat.
"Steve Finn was the shining light," says Hoggard. "He bowled with pace and aggression and was very unlucky not to pick up more wickets than he did.
"India are very good players of spin and have been brought up on these wickets. Graeme Swann has been the number one ODI bolwer so they will have planned not to take too many chances against him, but to target the other bowlers.
"Patel has had a good series, bowling some handy overs and showing what a destructive batter he can be. He can come away from this tour knowing he did ok."
The good news for England is that the 2015 World Cup is in Australia and New Zealand, where conditions will suit their players far better. The bad news is that England will not stand a chance of winning it unless they undergo a dramatic improvement in all areas of the one-day game.
"Don't forget, three months ago, India couldn't buy a win in England," says Hoggard. "It's a massive turn around in fortunes but you don't become a bad team overnight. Whether it's batting, bowling or fielding, England have to up their ante and back themselves to come out with a positive attitude."
Smith says: "Although it feels like a disappointing tour, if this group of players are going to go on and become as big a force in one-day cricket around the world as they want to, they will learn some lessons from this trip that will be very useful in the future. I imagine that some people will have found out some things about playing India that they won't forget."