Australia great Shane Warne believes England have been too reliant on their star men in recent years, meaning Alastair Cook's retirement will come as a huge blow.
England hit form in their last Test series against India - winning 4-1 - but former captain Cook, a steady presence at the top of the order for over a decade, retired after a match-winning performance in the fifth and final match.
And Warne sees similarities with the Australia team in the way England became dependent on the experienced Cook and current skipper Joe Root - and fears it is an issue they will struggle to fix in the short term.
"England are a little similar to Australia, where they rely on too few," Warne told Omnisport. "They rely on Root and Cook to get the runs with the bat, which is like [David] Warner and [Steve] Smith.
"And then they rely on [Stuart] Broad and [James] Anderson to get the wickets.
"We're a little better in the bowling department; we've got Nathan Lyon with the spin, we've got [Pat] Cummins, we've got [Josh] Hazlewood, we've got Mitchell Starc, three of the top 10 bowlers in the world, and they've got young [James] Pattinson as a back-up.
"Our bowling is probably a little stronger as a unit, but then they've got the class of Anderson and Broad.
"They rely on a few, do England, and losing Alastair Cook is a big loss. Even though he hasn't made a lot of runs in a long time, the experience is still a big loss."
WATCH: Is this one of Cook's best Test hundreds? pic.twitter.com/ocY0HE4HXE— England Cricket (@englandcricket) December 27, 2017
Despite the apparent limitations of both sides, Warne is hugely excited for next year's Ashes series on English soil.
"At the end of the day, no matter how bad Australia are, no matter how bad England are, when an Ashes series comes around, it brings out the best of both sides," he added.
"You can really nail your position as a player - your reputation is made in an Ashes series for an Australian or an England player. You do well in an Ashes series, you're good. It doesn't matter how you do against the rest, as long as you do well in the Ashes.
"I love an Ashes series - it gets bigger and bigger. England are tough to beat at home. Most sides are tough to beat at home, but England, especially, with that Dukes ball, the way Anderson bowls with it, are very, very difficult to beat."
Shane Warne's new autobiography: 'No Spin'. The definitive, intimate insight into the life and career of the world's greatest living cricketer is out now.
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