England's selectors delivered their first warning against complacency by ruthlessly dropping wicketkeeper Geraint Jones, replacing him with Chris Read for this week's third npower Test against Pakistan.
Despite their crushing victory by an innings and 120 runs in the second Test at Old Trafford, England opted against maintaining a winning team for the next encounter at Headingley, starting this Friday.
After a run of 31 consecutive Tests stretching back to the final Test against West Indies in Antigua over two years ago, Jones has paid the price for his inability to contribute runs at No 7.
He had been preferred over Nottinghamshire wicketkeeper Read in the first place because the selectors thought he would be able to produce more runs. After only one half-century in his last 15 Test innings and a disappointing average of only 18.8 in the 11 Tests since last summer's Ashes win, their patience finally snapped.
They have dropped Jones despite - and not because of - a fractured right ring finger sustained in the last Test.
Chairman of selectors David Graveney explained the decision, saying: "Geraint has kept (wicket) very well this summer, but he has been short of runs and the selectors feel that this is the right time to make a change.
"We have taken this decision regardless of the injury to Geraint's finger. The key factor for the selectors was his form with the bat and we believe that he will benefit from having a break from international cricket and spending more time in the middle with his county.
"If we wind the clock back to when he first got selected, it was on the basis that he took over from Chris Read because of his potential to score runs."
Graveney said: "It would be very easy for us to say he's got a damaged hand, but that isn't true. He's probably not 100 per cent fit but he wants to go out and play for Kent and he'll be playing this week.
"We have to be honest with ourselves, we have to be honest with Geraint and we have to be honest with the cricket public in this country."
Jones has finally begun to look accomplished behind the stumps after struggling to convince for the majority of his time as an England player.
But, at the same time, Read has spent the last two years working on his batting and has begun to score consistently for Nottinghamshire.
Read began the season with a century against MCC at Lord's, followed that up with a timely hundred against Pakistan for England A earlier this month and averages 42.92 in first-class cricket this season.
Regarded by most critics as the superior wicketkeeper, Read has two Tests to cement his place before the selectors choose the squad for this winter's Ashes series.
"Chris was selected in the England development squad earlier this summer and he has also performed well for the A team against Pakistan," explained Graveney.
"There is real competition for places in the wicketkeeping department at present and I am sure Chris will want to make the most of his opportunity."
Read, who averaged only 15.30 with the bat in his previous 11 Tests, said: "I felt that I kept well in the West Indies two years ago, but I knew that if was I going to get back in the Test side I would have to work on my batting because I hadn't scored enough runs.
"So I made a conscious effort to look at my batting and analyse where I can improve and have worked hard with the help of Mick Newell and Paul Johnson at Nottinghamshire as well as the staff at the ECB National Academy.
"Things have gone well for me and I feel that I have reaped the rewards by scoring well in both first-class and one-day cricket over the last couple of seasons."
England have named a 12-man squad, without the injured Liam Plunkett and Middlesex all-rounder Jamie Dalrymple, who loses his place in the squad from Old Trafford because Headingley is unlikely to favour spin.
Jones, who scored his only Test century at Headingley against New Zealand two years ago, admitted: "It's a blow, but the selectors have explained the reasons why and I will be working extremely hard to win my place back.
"I have been very pleased with my wicketkeeping this summer, but I am also conscious of the fact that I am in the side as a batsman as well.
"Your performances in Test matches are always going to come under intense scrutiny and what I need to do now is recapture my best form away from the international arena.
"It's up to me to go back to Kent, look to score plenty of runs and put myself back in the frame for the Ashes."