With Zaheer Khan injured, Harbhajan way past his best and Ishant Sharma even more inconsistent than usual, it was left to the wholehearted but lacking in pace Praveen Kumar to lead the attack.
But after three Tests against an improving but brittle West Indies despair has turned into optimism as suddenly the cupboard is filling up faster than the supermarket shelves at Waitrose ahead of Christmas.
Harbhajan has finally been put out to pasture and Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha collected 42 wickets at 23 between them in the three Tests against the boys from the Caribbean.
They've also discovered that rariry of rarities in a country of over a billion souls - not one but two promising fast bowlers. The emergence of Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron means that the likes of Sreesanth and Munaf Patel will be able to concentrate on the IPL and that RP Singh can return to the beach from whence he was summoned during the English expedition.
With Praveen returning from a well-earned rest, Zaheer (hopefully) from injury and Ishant fired up by the prospect of finishing Ricky Ponting's Test career, India suddenly look a different proposition.
The series against a transitional Australia under its new regime looks a thrilling prospect.
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