Graeme Swann and Tim Bresnan were both recalled by England in a 12-man squad announced on Saturday for next week's first Test against New Zealand at Lord's following their respective recoveries from elbow surgery.
England national selector Geoff Miller urged the hosts to play to their potential when they face New Zealand in a two-Test series starting at Lord's on Thursday.
Alastair Cook's men encountered unexpected resistance during their recent series in New Zealand, where all three Tests ended in a draw.
And it was the Kiwi's who so nearly took the honours, coming within one wicket of victory in the third Test at Auckland two months ago only for England wicket-keeper Matt Prior to defy them with an unbeaten hundred.
While the Ashes series against Australia will be the centrepiece of this English season, Miller is adamant England did not underestimate New Zealand when they last met -- and certainly will not do so now.
"We certainly didn't underestimate them," Miller said after announcing a 12-man squad for the first Test.
"We just didn't play up to the quality we know we're capable of playing. We've got to make sure we do that this summer."
The former England off-spinner added: "We are anticipating another very competitive series against New Zealand and know that we will need to improve significantly on our performances in the recent Test series against them if we are to start the international summer on a positive note.
"This series provides a good opportunity for the players to show that they have learnt from the experiences over the winter."
Both off-spinner Graeme Swann, in for Monty Panesar, and seamer Tim Bresnan, who each last played Test cricket in the series-clinching win over India in Nagpur in December, were recalled after proving their fitness while on county duty following elbow injuries.
"They obviously had these problems, and the operations have been a 100 percent success, so we're thrilled about that," said Miller.
Swann, when fit, has been a mainstay of the England team in all three international formats and Miller added: "He's fine. We're monitoring him, but he's come through what he's had to do after the operation and he's performed with no reaction at all.
"The same with Tim as well. Both have come through, and they're performing like they were before the operations. So we're happy with about that."
With star batsman Kevin Pietersen already ruled out because of knee trouble, the same six specialist batsmen who featured last time out against New Zealand were retained in the squad.
Jonathan Bairstow currently has the unenviable task of being Pietersen's replacement but a supportive Miller said: "He (Bairstow) has performed well for Yorkshire.
"We know what he's capable of doing, and he's got the opportunity to do it again.
"If you're missing a world-class player, as Kevin is, that's slightly disappointing. But we run with that, we accept that and we've also got world-class players playing in this match - of which Jonny Bairstow is one."
England first Test squad:
Alastair Cook (capt), Nick Compton, Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Jonathan Bairstow, Matt Prior (wkt), Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Steven Finn, Tim Bresnan