Michael Vaughan has warned Australia that England now have the strength in depth to win back the Ashes next year.
Vaughan's side are about to embark on a three-Test series against New Zealand but the England captain is already looking ahead towards the 2009 visit of Australia.
He believes the injury struggles of Andrew Flintoff and Simon Jones, who have barely played since taking key roles in England's 2005 Ashes triumph, have been a blessing in disguise as they have allowed the team to test out younger bowlers good enough to beat Australia.
Stuart Board, James Anderson and Ryan Sidebottom played well enough that even Flintoff's latest injury - a side strain that will rule him out of England's first two Tests against the Kiwis - shouldn't be a major blow to Vaughan and company.
"A year before 2005 me and Fletch (former England coach Duncan Fletcher) sat down and said that might be a year too early for the team," Vaughan said.
"As I sit here now I honestly think England have got a very, very good chance next year.
"I think we are in a better position now than we were a year before '05. There are a lot of good players around and a lot of good things happening with the England set-up.
"We have bowlers that swing the ball and I think one of the key areas to beating Australia is swinging it," Vaughan said. "Also Monty Panesar spinning the ball, in our conditions.
"From the experience I have of playing with Monty he seems to spin it more in this country than abroad.
"So if we get the ball swinging and Monty spinning it like he can you can get 20 wickets against that Australian side, and that is where you're going to beat them.
"Then if you look at the unit we have in terms of batting it will be a real battle who gets the most runs and I firmly believe we could do that."