Positive mentality helping England - Usman Afzaal - Cricket World TV

Ian Bell hits out during the Edgbaston Test
England are 2-1 up in the Ashes, and Usman Afzaal puts that down to a change in mentality
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Former England international batsman Usman Afzaal says that a change in mentality and approach to the game is one of the key factors behind England's recent resurgence.

After a poor World Cup ended with a group-stage exit and a drawn Test series in the Caribbean, England rang the chances with Trevor Bayliss coming in as head coach to replace Peter Moores.

England then went toe-to-toe with New Zealand, drawing the Test series 1-1, winning a captivating One-Day International series 3-2 and winning the one-off Twenty20 International.

They now lead the Ashes 2-1 thanks to dominant wins in Cardiff and Birmingham with Australia's victory coming at the home of cricket.

Bayliss joined up with the team after the New Zealand series, and Afzaal says he can see the difference already.

"After New Zealand, the England team and management tried to turn everything around and the main thing I see, the main difference since they played against New Zealand is the mentality of the whole setup," Afzaal said.

"It's a very positive, never-say-die attitude, confident...(there's) a bit of arrogance - in the right way.

"When you face the top teams you've got to have these sort of ingredients, as well as talent."

Afzaal, whose international career comprised the first, fourth and fifth Ashes Tests in 2001, says he is delighted to see England in the ascendency.

Speaking to us before England had wrapped things up at Edgbaston, he said:

"We're on top of the Aussies, and long may it continue.

"I think we're playing a fantastic brand of cricket.

"We need to back our boys and so far...you can't ask for much more from England."

102 wickets have fallen in this summer's Ashes series already, suggesting that so far, the bowlers have the upper hand.

At Edgbaston, Australia were bundled out for 136 batting first after England had been dismissedfor 103 in 37 overs at Lord's.

While Afzaal thinks such low scores do have something to do with the wicket and atmospheric conditions, credit must be given to the bowlers.

"A lot of it has got to do with the wicket and the conditions.

"Second of all, you've got Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad right now on top of their game and you've got to give them credit as well.

"We always talk about the Australian bowling attack but these guys, back home, in their own conditions are a force to be reckoned with.

"Once you have 'English-bowler-friendly' conditions, I like to see Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson on top of the game and that (sides being dismissed cheaply) is what can happen if they are on top of their game."

Afzaal was talking to Cricket World during the Azadi match 2015, where he was playing for the PCA England Masters XI.

© Cricket World 2015