India's hopes of adding an ICC trophy to their cabinet after 2013 were crushed mercilessly by Australia during the WTC final, but Rohit Sharma's men had to pay for their own follies too at the Oval.
The train of inanity started with the team selection and that percolated into the shot selection of the much-vaunted India top-order batsmen.
So, let's start over from that selection fumble. India decided not to pick Ravichandran Ashwin, the No 1 Test bowler by the current ICC Rankings.
But even if you discount the ranking factor, the veteran off-spinner has been India's most successful bowler in the 2021-2023 WTC cycle, taking 61 wickets from 13 matches.
In team management's defence, they can say most of those 61 victims were scalped during home games on designer tracks.
The team management might have been befooled by the tinge of green on the pitch and the overhead conditions while taking that call, also the decision to bat first. India bowling Paras Mhambrey said precisely that.
"It's always a very difficult decision to drop a champion bowler (Ashwin) like that. But looking at the conditions in the morning, I thought having the additional seamer would definitely be beneficial. It has worked for us in the past," said Mhambrey in a post-day press do.
But then teams wanting to write history hardly operate on past precedents. India hardly seemed to have tailored in the factor that Australia have four left-handers among their top seven batters, and Ashwin's proficiency against the southpaws is well-chronicled.
This is not to say that Ravindra Jadeja does not merit a place but when you have as potent a weapon as Ashwin in your ranks, then it would have been prudent to draft him in the first 11.
Aussie Nathan Lyon showed the usefulness of an off-spinner on this trampoline picking up 5 wickets, and India would have been banging on their heads on the door for that slip.
Of course, Ashwin is also a more than handy contributor with the bat down the order and as the wisemen say a team should always pick the best 11 not an 11 for the conditions.
But then that's just one missing piece in the entire puzzle. Umesh Yadav who did the duty of third seamer hardly made an impact despite a reasonable outing in the second innings.
Umesh had a chance to make his presence felt in the first innings when Australia were in a minor turmoil at 76 for 3. But a rather toothless spell littered with several boundary balls that eased the pressure on Travis Head and Steve Smith.
The Aussie duo punished India with a massive 285-run stand for the 4th wicket that turned the match decisively in favour of the Antipodean outfit.
It ever so painfully revealed the absence of a 'holding' (restrictive) bowler in Indian ranks like Ishant Sharma in the past or Scott Boland for Australia in this match. The team management will have to burn some serious midnight fuel to sort this out in the coming months before hitting another World Test Championship cycle.
However, the batsmen too will have to share a part of the blame as many of them still looked under the IPL grip and played rash shots when that bit of patience would have helped their cause.
71 for 4 is not a great place to be in if you have as big a total as 469 in front of you, but that is where India found themselves in the first innings.
Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara, two batters who were perceived to be in form ahead of the WTC final, misjudged the length and shouldered arms to Boland with fatal results. Pujara was his solid self in the second innings until he decided to test his T20 prowess, playing an upper cut off Pat Cummins that ended in the hands of Alex Carey behind the stumps.
Rohit looked super smooth till he played an ill-thought sweep from a stump-to-stump line against Lyon to get trapped plumb in front. These were just not the natural shots for these players but they chose to play it with unwanted outcome.
There was a lot riding on Virat Kohli in this big match. A monster ball from Mitchell Starc that kicked off from the length ended his stay in the first innings but in the second dig the Delhiite played a poor drive off Boland.
Yes, the Aussie pacer varied the length and angle subtly in that over but Kohli could very well have avoided that expansive drive, so reminiscent of the days when that fifth stump line was his Achilles Heel. It was just symptomatic of India's batting woes in this Test.
There were bright spots. The 100-run partnership between Ajinkya Rahane and Shardul Thakur and that seven-wicket run by Indian bowlers in the second morning, but India were incapable of blooming those flickering into a roaring hedge fire.
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