It is said a team or individual which has performed above expectation, if offered their achieved results in advance, would have snapped off or detached their hand in an act of pre-emptive gratitudinous.
We don't know what actions England's cricketers and their supporters would have taken if you had offered them a run of nine wins in 10 Tests.
It would have been a big deal.
The revolution in England's fortunes since Rob Key's visionary decisions to appoint Ben Stokes as captain has been one of the most amazing ever seen in cricket.
Only four times in England's Test history have they constructed a sequence of nine wins in a row.
The most recent was in 2004. Mike Brearley led England to nine wins in 10 in 1978 and 1979 and one of them was a win against an Australian side without many of its top players.
England won 12 out of 13 Tests between March 1885 and August 1890.
The teams had won four and drawn three of their previous 10 Tests, and Brearley's England had won three and drawn six of theirs.
In fact, of all the teams that have ever had a sequence of nine wins in 10 Tests, Australia is the only one that has ever done it.
The Pakistan series took England's batting revolution to a whole new level.
They scored at 5.50 runs per over in the three Tests combined, demolishing Australia's record of 4.66 per over in a 2015-16 clouting of the West Indies as the fastest run rate by a team in a series of at least three Tests.
The 4.54 against New Zealand was England's lowest score. In all, they scored at 4.13 per over, a new calendar-year record for a team that has played at least three Tests, despite the statistical deadweight of their first five Tests of the year.
Over the last 12 months, they have scored at a rate of 2.94 per over, which is 62 percent faster than they had over the previous year.
Only one of the 13 players who have played under both of them has seen his batting average decline and one has posted a slower scoring rate.
Only Australia in 2002 has hit boundaries more frequently than England.
If a computer hacker were to hack into the statistical databases of the cricketing world and remove all evidence of the final two Tests and the West Indies series, England would smash that record.
Harry brook was the batting star in Pakistan, with his majestic, multi-faceted strokeplay bringing him three centuries and elevating him onto an elite list of players with three or more hundreds in their first four Tests.
He is joined by George Headley, the founding genius of West Indian batting, as well as Arthur Morris, Conrad Hunte, and Mohammad Azharuddin.
Against the rest of England's top seven combined, Brook scored 125 for one dismissal off 144 balls, with 19 boundaries and conceded a boundary every 13.5 balls.
The English made a national-record 22 Test centuries this year, spread among eight players.
For the first time in a calendar year, six England players scored at least two Test centuries, with six of them being scored by JoeRoot.
Their performance with the ball and in the field has been equally good.
In the field, the team has presented unexpected and unfamiliar challenges to their opponents.
They have conceded more regular boundaries, one every 14 balls since June, compared with one every 18 balls over the previous 12 months, but they are taking them more quickly.
Ten Tests is a relatively small sample size, and statistics such as these are affected by a range of factors including pitches, venues and opposition, but they do highlight the shift in England's approach, with Ben Stokes prepared to leave gaps in the field, constantly probing for weakness and opportunity,
They have turned around positions of potential defeat in at least six of their nine wins, and have taken all 190 of the 190 in the field, despite often playing on batter friendly surfaces with unresponsive balls.
England's seamers had a huge advantage over the Pakistan team.
In the last 23 three-Test series against Pakistan, the visiting seam attack averaged 24.0, the best average by a visiting seam attack since 1990.
Pakistan's pace bowlers, who missed the brilliant Shaheen Afridi like an albatross would miss its wings, conceded more than twice as many runs as England's pacers.
The difference between the two teams' pace attacks is the greatest by which England have bettered opposing seamers in any series away from home, their sixth greatest margin anywhere, and their second biggest in their last 141 such series.
Pakistan's seamers have never been in a worse position than their opponents.
It has been the most mind- incomprehensible sequence of matches in England's Test History.
If you had predicted at the start of the tour that Will Jacks and Rehan Ahmed would take five-fors, you would have been right.
If you had predicted in August that England would win the series, you would have been correct.
This tour, and this English Test year, has entranced, fascinated and inspired in a way that was unimaginable back in January, when Ollie Robinson had his stumps hit by Pat Cummins.