Eoin Morgan admitted England had a bad day at the office when slipping to defeat in the second NatWest Series one-day international at Emirates Old Trafford.
Following Friday’s washout at Headingley, the tourists moved 1-0 up in the five-match rubber with a comfortable 88-run triumph underpinned by Michael Clarke’s 105.
England never looked like overhauling Australia’s 315 for seven and captain Morgan told ecb.co.uk: “I think we were poor all round if we are honest with ourselves.
“We should have restricted Australia to 40 or 50 (less) with the ball and with the bat we never really got any big partnerships going.”
“We’ve got to show a bit of character, come back fighting (at Edgbaston) on Wednesday and get a win under our belts.”
Although England were ultimately well beaten, several positives could be taken.
Boyd Rankin bowled better than figures of 2-49 suggested, while Kevin Pietersen, Morgan and Jos Buttler all contributed half-centuries, the latter doing so for the first time in ODIs.
Morgan added: “The big fella (Rankin) has bowled particularly well since he’s come into international cricket and he’s impressed everybody. Looking to the future he’s certainly going to be one for Test cricket.
“Kev (also) looked in particularly good form. It’s very good to watch at the non-striker’s end when he makes everything look so easy … and it would have been very exciting to maybe watch him for 10 or 15 overs more.”
On Buttler, the skipper continued: “Everyone within England has seen what he is capable of, certainly in a Somerset shirt, and it’s great to see him convert it into an England shirt.”
Having frequently offered a bright outlook in press conferences during the Investec Ashes as his side suffered a 3-0 defeat, Clarke was notably reserved when addressing the media in more positive circumstances.
Despite expressing satisfaction at the result, Australia’s leader was keen to highlight the work that lies ahead after overseeing his first win over England this summer. George Bailey, who hit 82 today, was in charge for last week’s T20 win at the Ageas Bowl.
“It is a good start to the series for us. Today’s only the start, though. We’ve got three more really important games and hopefully we can continue to perform the way we have,” said Clarke.
“We won’t take anything for granted and I don’t want to look too far ahead but at the end of the day it’s nice to have won a game against England on this tour.
“We’ve just got to make sure we keep working hard and keep trying to get better because there’s no doubt England will get better from today.”
:: Jamie Overton is free to link up with Somerset for their Yorkshire Bank 40 semi-final with Notts Outlaws on Monday. He will rejoin the national squad ahead of the third ODI at Edgbaston.