Confidence key to Ashes glory
Former Australian opener Justin Langer believes the lead-up to next summer's Ashes will prove crucial to the eventual outcome of the series.
The last time Australia visited England in 2005 Michael Vaughan's side regained the Ashes for the first time in 16 years after an epic 2-1 series win.
Just over a year later, however, it was a completely different story as an England - without the injured Vaughan and Simon Jones - were humiliated 5-0 Down Under.
England entered the 2005 contest on the back of five consecutive Test series victories but their form ahead of the 2006-7 clash was patchy at best.
And Langer, who played his final Test match against England in Sydney in January 2007, insisted the respective build-ups played a huge part in deciding both outcomes.
"I think it's going to be a really good contest, I think the next few months are going to be significant as to who wins the Ashes," he said.
"In 2005 England had gained some great confidence and they'd formulated a really strong team, a core of players and they came into it really confident.
"In the Lord's Test match in 2005 Harmison ran in to bowl to me and the first ball flew through to the keeper, Geraint Jones took it and England were all over us like bees to honey,
"It was unbelievable the body language, the attitude - they were really up for it.
“The next ball hit me on the elbow and I thought 'We're in for a fight here' and although we won the first Test, that was the attitude and feeling throughout the whole series.
"Last time (in 2006-7) Harmison ran in to bowl the first ball and it went to second slip.
“The most significant thing was not that it went to second slip but that I was looking round for a fight because we were up for this more than ever before.
"But the England players` body language, everything, was so different.
"If they gain confidence or Australia gain confidence leading into the Ashes, that'll be a telling part as to how the series goes."
Having retired after Australia regained the Ashes, Langer has spent two seasons at Somerset and captained the newly-promoted side to fourth in Division One of the County Championship last term.
The 37-year-old believes the state of the English domestic game is such that it will prove an ideal platform for young players to make the step up to the national side.
"I thought the standard of Division One cricket was outstanding, as good domestic cricket as I'd ever played around the world," he added
"I couldn't say that playing in Division Two but last year Division One cricket was serious cricket.
"Any young guys who dominate the first division will be ready to play international cricket and I don't think I could ever say that about county cricket before so that's really promising for England."