Originally Posted by Scaly piscine
England have come on massively overall since 2002/2003, NZ haven't. So it is pointless going back that far for England. Also I'm not interested in Kasper or Gillespie being out of form, someone is bound to be out of form it's just tough luck. It's not like they had been rubbish for years against other sides and that bowling attack most certainly compares with anything NZ have faced except possibly their last game in the CT.
The relevance of them being out of form is that it seriously weakens the strength of that Australian side. The team that England played in the CT last week was clearly a hell of a lot better and in much better touch than the one they played in the NWS.
And seriously, what are you talking about regarding England's improvement compared to New Zealands? It's blatantly obvious that New Zealand have come miles since the last World Cup. They have a fairly similar bunch of players, but most of them have improved a long way (look at Styris, Oram and McCullum for instance), and they gel much better as a side and their results are hugely improved.
England on the other hand have four players in common with the side they played at the last WC, in Flintoff, Trescothick, Collingwood and Anderson, while the rest of the team is pretty much universally filled with poorer players than before. You think England wouldn't jump at the chance to have Nick Knight, Alec Stewart of Andy Caddick in the ODI side now compared to what they've got? Adding one good player in Pietersen and an improved Flintoff doesn't make up for the rest of the team.