were at a low ebb in Test cricket after losing the 2021/22 Ashes series 4-0 in Australia but they have been revitalised since captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum joined forces last summer.
The pair have overseen 11 wins in 13 Test matches, with an astonishing scoring rate of almost five runs per over, but England face a daunting challenge against Ashes rivals Australia.
Pat Cummins' side had the perfect warm-up to the first Test at Edgbaston, thumping India in the World Test Championship final at The Oval, and they would relish bursting England's bubble in Test cricket's most prestigious series.
England's success over the past year has been built on some spectacular batting displays and there is little to choose between their top order and an batting unit built around the prolific Steve Smith.
Where the Aussies may have an advantage is in their settled bowling attack. Captain Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Scott Boland impressed against India last week, when spinner Nathan Lyon took four second-innings wickets to leave him just 13 short of 500 Test scalps.
Josh Hazlewood, who claimed 20 wickets in four Tests in England in 2019, is also in the squad while England, missing injured spinner Jack Leach and fast bowler Jofra Archer, remain heavily reliant on veterans James Anderson and Stuart Broad.
After their comprehensive 209-run triumph over India in the WTC final, Australia are 10/11 to win the five-Test series against England.
They drew 2-2 in 2019 and another tight series looks likely but the Aussies are a formidable unit who are capable of edging the contest.
Only three of the last 25 Ashes Tests have ended in draws so a 3-2 Australia Correct Score appeals at .
Batting depth is vital in England, where the new ball often causes plenty of damage, so Australia will have been delighted by wicketkeeper Alex Carey's knocks of 48 and 66 not out against India last week.
Number seven Carey has some good lower-order allies in all-rounder Cameron Green, skipper Cummins and Mitchell Starc and his batting feats in the past 18 months include scores of 19, 93 and 67 in Pakistan and a maiden Test century against South Africa at the MCG.
Australia wicketkeeper Carey made his debut in the 2021/22 Ashes, scoring 183 runs in nine innings, but he should be confident of improving on that tally.
The left-hander looked in good nick in the WTC final, has an ODI average of 52.5 after 15 games in England, and is worth backing to make Over 235.5 Runs at .
England's inspirational captain Ben Stokes will be leading from the front but his opposite number Pat Cummins also has a huge part to play in the series.
The Australia fast bowler took 29 wickets in the 2019 Ashes, six more than any other bowler, and marked his captaincy debut with a five-wicket haul at the Gabba on the first day of the 2021/22 series against England.
Cummins loves playing against England, claiming 73 Ashes scalps at an average of less than 21, and he has dismissed star batsman Joe Root on eight occasions.
Pat Cummins looks a big price at to be named Player of the Series given his significance as Australia's captain and key fast bowler.
Cummins is also capable of dramatic contributions with the bat, smashing a 14-ball half-century for Kolkata Knight Riders in last year's IPL, and if Australia are to retain the Ashes then their skipper is likely to play a leading role.