It's not just about accumulating points and moving your way up the rankings list. Champions are more sensitive about the pride in performance.
The Indian team's reputation as the world's best Test side lay in tatters after being outplayed in the second Test as well, crushed by 319 runs with a day to spare, thus giving England a 2-0 lead in the four-Test series.
England need to draw the next two Tests now to snatch the No 1 Test ranking from MS Dhoni's team.
After conceding a lead of 68 runs in the first innings, England amassed 544 in their second essay to take control of the game. Chasing 478, India were routed for 158. It is the sixth worst defeat in the history of Indian cricket.
India to blame
India have themselves to blame. They had their chances in the first innings when they had England at 124 for eight in the first innings. They allowed them to make 221. While batting, India were in a position of strength at 267 for four before collapsing to 288 all out.
Already facing a lot of flak, India have a lot to play for in the remaining two Tests. It is not about the rankings anymore. Their pride is at stake. Critics here are looking for signs of disintegration in this ageing side and the knives are already sharpening.
"I know everyone has a bad day but India's effort at the moment lacks pride - way to many misfields / heinous bowling. Eng will go 2-0 up," Shane Warne tweeted.
It's not only about the result. It's also about the way a team fights even in defeat. And that's what has been the cause of much anguish for the Indian supporters. The last two days would easily be the most forgettable since the Indian team attained top rank at the fag end of 2009.
England bowled with aggression, accuracy and hostility. The key for them was to get rid of Rahul Dravid and the damage was done before lunch. Left to play five overs before the break, the Asian giants were already staring down the barrel at 8 for one. Their batting mainstay, Dravid, was already back in the hut.
It's Broad again
England got the big breakthrough when Stuart Broad produced a perfect outswinger to get rid of the Indian great. It was a dream start for England as Dravid has been a thorn in their flesh, scoring tons in the first innings of both Tests.
It was a procession after lunch. The most disappointing part was the way the Indian batsmen were bounced out. Tim Bresnan picked four wickets off bouncers.
The success of Bresnan in this Test showed the difference in depths between the two sides. India looked toothless after the injury to their spearhead Zaheer Khan, while Bresnan didn't allow England to feel the absence of the injured Chris Tremlett.
He was the star of the show on the fourth day.
He first made 90 and then capped it with a five-wicket haul.Why bat first after winning the toss | The Trent Bridge nightmare: Amongst the worst