Paine calls for Australian batting improvements
Tim Paine has called for a massive improvement from Australia's top order after they were bowled out for 214 in a three-wicket ODI loss to England at The Oval.
Paine won the toss in perfect conditions, electing to bat only for his side's woes with the willow to resurface as they struggled against spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid, who took five wickets between them.
A fine 62 from Glenn Maxwell, who batted at No.6, and 40 from Ashton Agar helped the tourists recover from 5-90 and past 200.
But it was never going to be enough, despite the fine efforts of the young Australian bowlers.
"It was really simple, we just didn't get enough runs out of our top five," Paine said.
"You don't win too many one-day games when the highest score out of your top five is 22 or 23 runs."
Paine said he and coach Justin Langer may look at changing the side for Saturday's match in Cardiff and play an extra batsman with D'Arcy Short or Alex Carey waiting in the wings.
"Potentially it's something we spoke a lot about and we will continue to look at each game when we get to the grounds and see the wickets," Paine said.
"We've got enough batting there to score more than 214. Would one more batter have made a difference?
"I'm not sure. It all comes down to your top five batters in one-day cricket."
A rookie Australia attack did their best to force what would have been a stunning victory but England reached their target with six overs to spare finishing at 7-218.
Giant paceman Billy Stanlake was the pick of the attack, but he was ably supported by debutant Michael Neser and Andrew Tye with the trio taking two wickets apiece.
But such was the impact of England's spinners that at one stage Australia could only manage three boundaries in 19 overs.
Paine conceded it wasn't good enough but said the team have been working hard.
"It's something the whole group has been working on and something we speak about a lot," he said.
"It's a work in progress, we know we haven't been fantastic at it, but we are training really hard at it and if we can get some set batters in when they start, it would make a big difference.
"It's going to be up to our guys to translate what they are working on in the nets … sometimes that's a little bit more difficult than it may seem under pressure."
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