Alastair Cook took solace in the performances of Gary Ballance and Chris Jordan as England suffered defeat in the opening contest of the one-day series against Australia.
Aaron Finch’s brilliance with the bat took the hosts to a six-wicket victory at the MCG after Ballance had struck 79 in England’s total of 269 for seven.
However, the Yorkshire batsman was involved in the key moment, failing to hold a chance at mid-off that would have seen Finch depart for eight as Jordan opened the bowling with a threatening spell.
While the missed opportunities frustrated Cook, he was pleased to see Ballance and Jordan press their claims for a regular spot in the ODI side with ball and bat respectively.
The England skipper told ecb.co.uk : “We’re obviously missing a couple of senior players on this tour in the one-day leg and it gives other people a great opportunity to stand up. I was impressed with Jordan and Gary today handling themselves.
“I thought the way (Ballance) played and the composure he showed (was good). He hung in there and took it deep. He played well.
“I was impressed with the way (Jordan) swung the ball. I thought he got into the contest well and he was unlucky not to get a couple more wickets.
“It’s a start for them, we don’t want to get too carried away but I was impressed by them.”
Cook wants to see the side be more clinical when chances come their way in the remainder of the series. Despite believing the batsmen had fallen short of a par score in Melbourne, the skipper felt England could still have recorded a victory had they been more disciplined.
“We don’t want to drop catches but that happens in cricket. Credit to Finch; he was dropped and he punished us heavily," he said.
“We need to take those chances. No-one means to drop a catch but it is frustrating when they do go down.
“It’s a little bit frustrating when that happens but all we can do is dust ourselves off and keep practising hard.
“I think these are things that are happening because we haven’t been playing so good cricket on this tour. We need to start clinging on to a few of those and get a little bit of luck at a certain stage and things will turn.
“We’ve got a lot of good players to do that.”
Australia will be without Shane Watson in Friday's second ODI at Brisbane, after Cricket Australia announced that he will be rested, while Mitchell Johnson will come back into the side.