It is rare that an entire team demonstrates the same, specific failings time and again, as if robots with fundamental programming flaws.
England showed a quite staggering ineptitude against pretty average swing bowling again in Auckland as the tourists floundered where their low-ranked opponents had thrived only a day earlier.
Bear this in mind: the last time New Zealand won a Test series against anyone other than Bangladesh or Zimbabwe was at home to West Indies in 2006. Oh, and the Kiwis are ranked second bottom of the current ICC world rankings.
Team director Andy Flower and captain Alastair Cook repeatedly roll out the same platitudes about improved preparation, intense training, refining of skills and unwavering hard work on tour, but the same failings continue to halt their side in their tracks.
England's score over the course of a desperately shoddy morning session's work on day three at Eden Park was 42 for three, in 29 overs that were frankly painful to watch.
Indeed, three virtually identical lbw dismissals in a matter of minutes left one wondering if the batsmen had any concept of adapting to a situation or of showing initiative with their technique against a one-dimensional, albeit very successful, line of attack.
All the talk had been - from both outside and inside the England camp - about how the tourists were prepared to be patient while New Zealand piled on the runs, safe in the knowledge that they would come with equal ease for both sides. It proved to be far from the case.
Trent Boult and Tim Southee - often derided as the most average of international seamers - terrorised the number two-ranked side in the world with little more than good lines, full lengths and a touch of late swing.
England batted as though the concept of conventional swing was a revolutionary one; a new aspect to a fast-changing game, rather than one of the oldest - supposedly very English - arts.
It was a truly dismal effort from Cook's side against an attack that is far from vaunted on the international stage, and on a wicket that they had repeatedly lamented as flat, lifeless and placid over the previous two days.
When Cook and Jonathan Trott lost their wickets in quick succession on the evening of day two, it was blamed on the players having spent so long in the field chasing leather, but the tourists returned the next day and proceeded to play even more shabbily.
The fact was, many people saw this inexplicable implosion coming. England's middle order consisted of the ever-flaky Ian Bell, an out-of-form and inexperienced Joe Root, and another young player who had not played top-level cricket for many weeks in Jonny Bairstow.
Yes, the absurdly talented and largely taken for granted Kevin Pietersen was injured, but this was otherwise England's first choice batting line-up, and it failed dismally. Again.
After the shambolic showing against spin bowling in the UAE, it was said that England's problems with the bat were isolated to facing particularly unconventional slow bowling, but that again appears to be far from the case.
England supporters have inevitably relished mocking the recent farcical incidents in the Australian camp, and that is entirely understandable; but any fans from Down Under watching a spot of cricket from the Old Enemy in Auckland will have been equally encouraged ahead of the summer series.