Australia captain Ricky Ponting is confident his side can acquit themselves well in the forthcoming Ashes series.
His side are missing such big names such as Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne and Ponting agreed he could understand why people in England thought it would be easier than in the 2006-7 series.
But he told a press conference his side can take confidence from their recent Test series victory in South Africa to believe they can take on any side in the world and give a good account of themselves.
"If any sporting team around the world lose some of the all-time greats of the game out of their side, you can definitely understand why (people would think it would be easier)," he said.
"It would be interesting to see what the England players say, though, if they are saying the same thing as what media and what spectators and fans might be saying about the current Australian side.
"There was a lot being made of Andrew Symonds not being picked in our squad and how that squad seems to be a little bit less intimidating than it was.
"But I think, at the end of the day, I am intimidated by good players, the better players you see in any team the more intimidated I become, not necessarily just names so that's how I would be looking at it.
"As I said, our last series was beating a very, very good South African team in their conditions so that's all I can judge anything I say on.
"That's why I feel excited and reasonably confident that we can play at a level that's going to be good enough to be competitive against any team around the world in any conditions that we are confronted with."
He believed the biggest decision England's selectors will have to take is whether to play Andrew Flintoff.
"I think that's going to be the great and big decision that the England selectors are going to have to make come first Test time," he said.
"Flintoff is obviously very important to their make-up and their set-up but maybe as we saw in 2007, if he's not 100 per cent fit then maybe that same sort of impact that he can have around the team is not there."
Asked what kind adversary Andrew Strauss his opposite number was going to be, he replied: "I don't know a lot about him actually as a leader.
"I've seen what he's been able to achieve since he's been in the position through the West Indies tour, he obviously played very well over there in a series loss but he's obviously once again captained the side well in the last couple of games here against the West Indies.
"We haven't had a chance to see him against us as a leader and under intense pressure and hopefully over the next few months we'll get to see that."
He agreed it was going to be a massive challenge for Strauss.
"I think it is for both teams yes - I think this being one of the great series that's played in world cricket then every player comes under a lot more pressure and there's a lot more challenges that lie ahead," he said.
"This is my fourth Ashes tour, so I think I've got a pretty good understanding of the way things are going to be over the next few months.
"For a lot of the English players, the guys who haven't been there before, then there's that great challenge for them and for Andrew as captain of the side, there's obviously a few more challenges that might confront him in the next few months as well."
Ponting himself says he feels fresh and excited for the challenge ahead and believes the tourists' squad has an excellent blend of experience and youth.
"I really enjoy the opportunity of captaining Australia and playing as much cricket as I can so I am re-invigorated," he added.
"I am excited for what lies ahead, not only in this series either but for the next few years of my playing career so challenges, different things come up pop up all the time.
"You grab them and meet them head on and try and get through the other side the best you possibly can."
He warned England that the Australians will prove far tougher opposition than what they faced against the West Indies.
"The competition that they'll be coming up and the opposition that they'll be coming up against against us in a month's time will be vastly stiffer than what they faced in the last few weeks so we'll have a better idea once we've got a couple of Test matches out of the way where the series is going to go."