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For England's Test cricketers, the summer of 2004 will be surpassed only if they win the Ashes next year. Yet two whitewashes, one against a savvy New Zealand team, the other over a West Indies side too reliant on Brian Lara and riddled with attention deficit disorder, were peaks unimaginable six months earlier.
The change is largely due to the improvements of Andrew Flintoff and Stephen Harmison. Their ability to dominate opponents meant England were never short of answers. Players like that breed confidence, and although it took time to spread within the one-day side, an impressive win over Australia in the Champions Trophy suggested it had by the end of the season.