Michael Vaughan believes England have a good chance in the upcoming Ashes series - but says the Australians are favourites.
The former England captain, who led the his country to victory in the 2005 Ashes, believes the current side have made significant strides since the turn of the year.
But the team still lacks the experience of the 2005 winning side which had played together for 12 months before the famous series win.
Vaughan, who is himself bidding to return to the international fold after a spell in the wilderness, told the Sunday Telegraph: "From where we were in January a lot of people would have laughed if we had talked up our Ashes chances, but not now.
"[Andrew] Strauss is a wonderful man to lead the team, and they are in a good place at the moment.
"They look a happy unit, vibrant, energetic, they back each other up and they get in the opposition's face a bit."
But he warned against complacency, saying: "England have had a great last month or two but not a great year.
"In 2005 we had a team that had played for 12 months together and had the experience of getting out of tricky situations.
"[The Ashes] could be such a tight series that the first day is going to be huge. If I had to make a prediction it would be that the team which gets its nose ahead early on will win.
"Once the Aussies get ahead they really rub the opposition's noses in the dirt, and if they have a good first day in Cardiff, can England come back on day two?
"They are a very dangerous animal these Australians. Write them off at your peril. I think we've got a good chance but we're not favourites."