Ricky Ponting's team could benefit from England's return to sloppy ways, according to Steve Waugh © Getty Images

Steve Waugh believes England have lost their Ashes-winning momentum after drawing the Test series with Sri Lanka this week. While The Courier-Mail was already tipping the summer to "turn into a multi-million dollar fizzer", Waugh told the paper England's killer instinct has gone and they should have beaten the tourists 3-0.

"There's no doubt they've lost the momentum they got out of the Ashes," Waugh told the paper after Muttiah Muralitharan's 8 for 70 bowled Sri Lanka to a 1-1 outcome. "It's a poor result for [England]. They lacked the killer instinct, they were very casual and they fell back into some of their old bad habits like dropping catches and sloppy fielding."

The former Australian bowlers Geoff Lawson and Rodney Hogg also said the performances of England, who battled in India and Pakistan before the home series, have given Australia a clear edge. "Put your house, and mine, on Australia to win - and win comfortably," Lawson said in The Courier-Mail. "The Poms are going very poorly and Australia have the winter off ... we will be fresh and jumping out of our skins to give them a thrashing."

Hogg said Duncan Fletcher's squad needed to alter their plans. "The Poms have got a lot of re-thinking to do if they are going to be any good at all against us this summer," he said. Around 300,000 tickets have been sold for the Test series that begins at the Gabba on November 23.