Former England fast bowler Devon Malcolm believes England could take advantage of Australian complacency in this summer’s Ashes series.

Highlighting the side’s improving form in the recent series against New Zealand, the former paceman, who played in the Ashes in 1989 and 1997, said Australia are in for a shock if they think they’ll walk the series.

“After the West Indies test and the World Cup performance, I thought we had no chance,” he said. “I feared this would be another 5-0 to Australia.

“But after the New Zealand series I have become more optimistic. They were playing with such freedom.

“I think we will give them a good fight and it will not be as easy for Australia as they might think.”

He believes Australia have a stronger side than England and Malcolm highlighted the Aussies’ bowling attack as the biggest threat.

“I think this is where Australia have the advantage,” he said. “Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc are very dangerous and it will be difficult against them.

“But, over a matter of five weeks, anything could happen. The talent is there for England to play well.”