Tossing aside his usual ritual of mocking the Poms, former Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne [ Images ] believes England [ Images ] has their best chance in 24 years of winning the Ashes Down Under this winter.
Warne has hailed off-spinner Graeme Swann [ Images ] as the world's most improved cricketer - insisting he will be key to England's attempt to retain the urn they won here last summer.
He said: "The last time England went to Australia [ Images ], it was a 5-0 whitewash and embarrassing. They'll want to do something about that. They can challenge us for the first time since 1986-87. It will be a good series."
"Winning in Australia and India [ Images ] are the two toughest countries for any side. Australia has the best home record over the last 20 years. In my time, we lost one series against West Indies [ Images ] in 1992-93 and one run separated us," The Sun quoted Warne, as saying further.
"Our home record over the last few years hasn't been as strong. They lost to South Africa [ Images ] and drew with India. But it's still a tough ask to win in Australia. Glenn McGrath [ Images ] will say 5-0 to Australia - but I think it'll be close," he said.
"England played outstanding cricket in the recent one-day series. It has been a long time since they had the edge on us in all forms of the game. Their selectors and Andy Flower [ Images ] must take credit for not discarding players like they have in the past. They are starting to gel. And, Swann is the most improved cricketer," Warne said.