Well, what to make of that?
England beat South Africa in the first ODI - impressive enough. But to obliterate them in the second was an extraordinary display. After all the false dawns, can we finally say England's one-day side are making progress?
Kevin Pietersen can seemingly do no wrong as captain: he has succeeded in reinvigorating a side who, following Michael Vaughan's tear-leaden resignation, appeared close to crisis point. It remains to be seen whether he can make the sides consistently successful, but, suddenly, the one-day outfit has been transformed into one of the most powerful line-ups around.
Since the defeat to New Zealand, three players - Matt Prior, Andrew Flintoff and Steve Harmison - have returned to the side, and each has performed outstandingly to date.
With Flintoff and Harmison providing the middle-over penetration England have perennially lacked, the bowling line-up is powerful indeed. Stuart Broad today produced his best showing to date, and has been a consistent one-day performer, unlike in Tests. Conversely James Anderson, once regarded as worth his place only in the limited-overs side, has discovered consistency in Tests but seems to have regressed in ODIs. His figures over his last 18 games are damning indeed: 13 wickets at averages (56.61) and economy rates (5.37) that are unacceptable. If he does not improve in the remaining three ODIs, England should look elsewhere: at Ryan Sidebottom, who has proved a canny one-day operator with variations aplenty; or Kabir Ali, in outstanding form for Worcestershire for the last two years.
Prior has, so far, outperformed Tim Ambrose and Phil Mustard, keeping surprisingly well and batting assertively at the top of the order. While he certainly deserves a place in the side, there may be a case for replacing Luke Wright with a specialist opener (Rob Key, Joe Denly or Vikram Solanki) and moving him down to Wright's slot at seven.
Doubts persist over the suitability of Ian Bell opening - he has all the shots, but too often fails to be assertive - and Owais Shah at three. Shah performed superbly against New Zealand batting at six, but may prove a little vulnerable to the moving ball early on. Ideally, he would bat at four or five, but with Pietersen and Flintoff settled there and Paul Collingwood at number six, he should be given an extended run at three. Providing he is free to express himself, Shah should prove capable there.
From four to six England's batting has an imperious look. The remaining selectorial issues concern numbers seven and eight. Wright is on the periphery of the side, but at least provides true destructive, game-changing potential at seven - unlike Ravi Bopara, who is not comfortable attacking from the off. Perhaps the experience and phenomenal six-hitting ability of Dimitri Mascarenhas - also probably the best bowler of the three - is the best option.
Samit Patel has started promisingly - but England may be better off choosing their best spinner, Graeme Swann, who has shown he is an attacking off-spinner and has played some fine innings at number eight. It is ironic that Swann, who many felt was selected over Monty Panesar for his three-dimensional game, has now seen the same fate befall him.
Under King Kevn's reign, England have the tools at their disposal to, finally, establish themselves as a one-day force. They have a brilliant middle-order, bat deep and have a fine, four-pronged pace attack. More work needs to be done - but it is a long time since England's ODI side has had such a convincing look.