Not often have the England selectors adopted a ruthless approach since the introduction of central contracts - a more frequent charge has been the "clubby" nature of the dressing room from which it has appeared much more difficult to leave than enter.
Try telling that to Geraint Jones and Chris Read, both of whom had a culture shock when they got the heave-ho, with their twice-unexpected reversal of roles causing shock waves throughout the game.
Read kept impeccably in the first three Tests in the West Indies two years ago on tricky pitches for glovemen, but was dropped for Brian Lara's record Test in Antigua - much to the surprise and barely concealed annoyance of David Graveney and coselector Rod Marsh.
It was a Duncan Fletcher selection, made on the grounds that Read's batting was not up to scratch. It set in train a 31-match unbroken sequence for Jones, of which the first 20 sparked furious arguments because of wicket-keeping that was well below par. His missed chances soon reached double figures, including crucial drops against Australia at Old Trafford and Trent Bridge.
Had he accepted straightforward chances off Shane Warne when he was 30 and 60 (and went on to score 90), England would have won that match. Had he held on to routine stuff at Trent Bridge, England would only have had to chase 75 instead of 129, which they reached with three wobbly wickets to spare.
Meanwhile, Read went back to county cricket and scored bucketfuls of runs, averaging 50 in first-class cricket, but Fletcher stuck to his guns, maintaining that the modern wicketkeeper must be a genuine all-rounder.
Prophecies that Jones would be exposed on tours of Pakistan and India were unfounded and, this summer, his glovework has been of a consistently high standard at the expense of batting which has dribbled away to nothing.
And so to his ruthless axing for today's Headingley Test.
Ruthless because he claimed five victims and kept OK with a broken finger last Saturday, when Pakiston were Harmison-ed. With two Tests to go, it was much easier for Fletcher to stick with his man and take both to Australia. Although it was even easier to say that Jones was being rested because of his finger, Graveney went out of his way to say that preference for Read was a form selection.
Reading between the lines - not easy with a selection trio of Graveney, Geoff Miller and Fletcher - it seems that the coach did not get his way, with the other two combining to suggest enough was enough.
The result is that a privately disgruntled Jones is with Kent and Read can expect the most searching of media spotlights. Heaven help him if he shells one out, or if his batting (Test average 15) is no less anonymous than when he was dropped. In his favour is that surely he must play in the fourth Test at The Oval.
The only query about this morning's selection is whether Sajid Mahmood or Jonathan Lewis drops out. Irrespective of conditions which are expected to provide a decent pitch with much less bounce than last week, Lewis must be a better bet to bowl his share of overs in a four-man attack. Mahmood is not up to it yet and only the Steve Harmison-Monty Panesar double act saved Andrew Strauss from the same sort of problems he had at Lord's.
He faces a juggling act if the main three bowlers don't take wickets and he has to rely on Mahmood for 20 overs or so. Expect a game more like Lord's than Old Trafford.
The cap worn by Eric Hollies in The Oval Test of 1948 is to be auctioned, writes George Dobell. The Warwickshire and England leg-spinner dismissed Don Bradman for a second-ball duck in that game; the Australian's final Test innings. By doing so, he denied 'The Don' the four runs he required to finish his Test career with a batting average of over 100. Most would settle for the 99.94 he did manage.
The cap will be sold at Charles Leski Auctions in Melbourne on August 16 with a letter of authenticity from the Australian opener, Arthur Morris. Morris was at the other end when Hollies deceived Bradman with a googly - as he did when Warwickshire played the Australians at Edgbaston that same year - and swapped caps with the bowler after the game. Hollies' daughter, Jackie Rawlinson, is still in possession of Morris' cap.
"He had discussed how to bowl to Bradman with 'Tom' Dollery," she recalls. "After dismissing him with a googly at Edgbaston, they decided he should bowl it second ball and it worked."
Cricket lovers who find the anticipated price of just over £12,000 a little steep might be interested to know that the museum at Edgbaston contains numerous Hollies-related items.
Hollies, who died in 1981, took 2,201 first-class wickets for the club (and 2,323 in his career); nearly 1,000 more than the next highest wicket-taker. He played a key part in the Championship success of 1951 and was one of Wisden's Cricketers of the Year in 1955.
In 13 Tests, he took 44 wickets at 30 with five five-wicket hauls and a best of seven for 50 against West Indies.
He is, however, generally regarded as one of the worst batsmen ever to play the game. He finished with many fewer runs than wickets at first-class level and a batting average of five.