The batting, pragmatic rather than flamboyant, did its primary job of getting at least sufficient runs for the bowlers – a strategy that may need some revision in future but was vindicated in this match – and the bowlers, led by Jimmy Anderson and including the unflappable James Tredwell, Graeme Swann's replacement, were magnificent.
Add to that the support offered in the field and Alastair Cook's finest effort at captaincy in this form of the game and it was a world of difference from the dismal showing that cost England the recent series against New Zealand.
There were some blips. The batting template of laying down a base and then going for broke latterly, a strategy that might have been discovered along with the Dead Sea Scrolls, will not be adequate in all conditions, against all attacks, on all grounds.
As a minimum the tempo in the first 10 overs may need to be upped. Against that England could with justification point out that it worked perfectly well for this game, that they are not stupid and, of course, in future they could be more flexible in thinking.
The winning margin of 48 runs in no way flattered them. Australia were feeble, a shadow of the side they once were, but they were rendered further so by the way England played. As a unit the bowlers cannot perform better than they did. Australia, without Michael Clarke, still had two dangerous players at the top of the order in the left-right combination of David Warner and Shane Watson, a pair who can feed voraciously from anything loose. To this end England's selection was first-rate.
To jettison Steven Finn, the bowler ranked third in the world ODI rankings, was a big call but clearly, having viewed him so far, they believed his control was untrustworthy.
Anderson, Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan between them bowled such a tight line, to such a rigid length, to well-set fields, that neither of the two powerhouse openers had anywhere to go.
Absolutely key to the bowling success was the reverse swing that England got but which by contrast eluded Australia. England have shown in the past, in all conditions, that there is no side more adept at getting reverse swing, using either red or white ball, but it is not an ability that has been acquired overnight.
The need for reverse as a weapon became obvious once it became apparent that the balls being used for this tournament have not been offering the kind of orthodox swing that many had anticipated would give England an advantage in their home conditions.
Instead the sun has shone, the air has been dry and pitches have had the moisture drained from them. When England arrived at Edgbaston they found a plethora of used pitches on the square and were able to use those abrasive qualities by virtue of throwing the balls in on the bounce until they were roughed up.
Add to this the bowlers delivering cross-seam, which is to say that, rather than hold the ball with fingers along the line of the seam, they are placed at right angles to it, so that the ball will land on the leather rather than the stitching, and the balls had ragged up sufficiently inside half a dozen overs with each bowler working on maintaining the condition on one side only, which leads to reverse.
Thereafter the ball was always thrown in on the full. Once the bowlers began to get movement in the air, either in or out, they became irresistible.
Only towards the end of their innings did it look as if England's batting plan might unravel. The foundations had been laid by Cook, Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott, the latter pair adding a century at five runs per over so that, with 20 overs remaining, and the default expectation of the score being doubled in that time, there were nine wickets in hand.
When Trott was out, with a little more than 16 overs left, a case could have been made for sending in Eoin Morgan rather than Joe Root.
England do know their players, however, and it may be that Morgan, a chillingly clinical, calculating, second-innings chaser, is less adept at setting something less definable while Root has already demonstrated he is no slouch.
In the event Root was unable to kick on while Morgan and Jos Buttler, who had so pulverised New Zealand in their last match before this competition, were out within three balls of each other.
No stratagem can rely on two such mavericks delivering every time and Buttler, it could be argued paradoxically, is likely to score runs in inverse proportion to the time available to him. In other words, do not give him time to think.
But in showing continuing faith in Ravi Bopara as an all-round one-day cricketer the selectors once more are to be commended. Bopara's clever bowling, allied to the maturing off-spin of Root (his potential is much greater than just an occasional twirler), backed up confident batting that, along with Bresnan, provided the final impetus to a defendable total.
Sri Lanka, under lights at The Oval on Thursday, will provide a different challenge but for now England can be suitably satisfied.
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