Cricket Expert & Columnist
They're worlds apart
England are a class apart from Australia, says Nasser Hussain, and can become the best side in the world.
Last Updated: 09/12/10 4:54pm
This is the best England performance I've seen. Ever.
It is a massive comment but it is how I feel after watching England boss Australia from the first ball to the last in Adelaide.
They won every single session - as they have done for the last seven days of Test cricket now - with a complete all-round performance.
There were plenty of questions flying about before the tour began about whether Jimmy Anderson could deliver in Australia with a Kookaburra ball and he's answered every single one.
The way he bowled first up on day one was magnificent; that first half-hour cost Australia the game. They never recovered from being 2-3.
Jimmy's a lovely lad and I'm really pleased for him; I've had a soft spot for him ever since he was part of my squad for the 2002/03 Ashes tour and now he's more than fulfilling the potential I saw in him back then.
He put in plenty of hard yards in Brisbane, where Steven Finn got the wickets, so he more than deserves his success here.
Alastair Cook is another player having a stand-out series.
He's proved that you don't have to over-worry about technique so long as you are mentally strong, focused on the job in hand and have desire in abundance.
To follow up a double-hundred in Brisbane with another century shows how hungry he is to get big scores. He's a good solid character and any captain will tell you that you need characters in your side.
Given his balance at the crease and his fine footwork, it seems amazing that just a few months ago he was struggling just to play the forward defence.
It shows what a bit of belief and faith can do; England have stuck by him and he's looked a completely different player since he decided to go back to basics.
I can't remember too many people who have remodelled their technique and had great success - nor are there any players out there, if any, who have a perfect technique. Sachin Tendulkar and Jacques Kallis are perhaps the closest of all.
After a difficult summer he has now dispelled any doubts that he should be in the side but any talk of him being England's future captain should remain firmly in the future, for now.
There are other candidates around - Ian Bell is pushing up the ranks - but all that can wait so long as England have a very solid captain-coach relationship in Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower.
The last few months have shown how fortunes can change in either direction so England must simply keep trying to improve.
I would invest more in this England side than any in world cricket. With the possible exception of Paul Collingwood, they are all of the right age to kick on and try to become the best side in the world.
If England are to go on and become world No 1 then they need Kevin Pietersen to fire exactly as he did here.
England have some very, very fine players but Pietersen is the man for the big occasion; he can do things that others can only dream of, in particular score runs very quickly.
A couple of hours after England wrapped up victory it absolutely chucked it down here; if Pietersen hadn't scored his runs as quickly as he did, England might have run out of time.
I know not every England fan warms to him but I wish that those who don't could see Kevin around the ground, in the gym, at the hotel, in training.
He likes his own company and is more than happy to go off and work on his own game; he really does do everything possible to give him the best chance of succeeding, which is all you can ask for as a supporter, team-mate, manager or captain.
If Pietersen is doing that then players coming into the side like Eoin Morgan take note and realise that's what they have to do to be a world-class player.
He is an incredible athlete who is incredibly driven. In the summer he lost some of that drive and focus and England did the right thing by leaving him out of a few one-day games, which gave him the nudge he needed.
Like everyone I'm sad to see Stuart Broad's tour ended by injury.
It is tough on the lad because he'll watch the rest of the series at home and either be wishing he was out here helping England if they are doing poorly or wishing he was out here winning the Ashes with them.
England do have very good replacements waiting in reserve and their batting line-up is weakened by Broad's absence but the way the top six are seeing it, I don't think Ponting's main concern is who is batting at No 8!
Personally I would play Chris Tremlett at Perth and encourage England to continue playing the positive, attacking cricket that has already brought them success.
Australia tend to play good cricket at Perth and perhaps that will prove England's stumbling block but there is such a large gulf between the sides at the moment that it's hard to see how Australia can get back into this series.
They look like they are going to go round and round in circles when it comes to team selection - which spinner, which left-armer, which batsmen should they play?
It's a shambles at the moment and they are going to get lambasted in the week ahead, which will only encourage England to greater heights.