We got selection wrong - Strauss
Captain Andrew Strauss admitted England were a seamer short after they slipped to a second successive one-day defeat to Australia in Hobart.
Shaun Marsh hit a fine 110 to help Australia from 142 for eight to a total of 230 on a tricky surface, while number 10 Doug Bollinger contributed a run-a-ball 30 to a crucial ninth-wicket stand worth 88.
England fell some way short in reply, undermined by the loss of regular wickets as they were bowled out for 184 with five overs unused.
Bollinger removed Strauss and Kevin Pietersen with successive balls en route to figures of 4-28 as Australia wrapped up a comfortable 46-run which gave them a 2-0 lead in the seven-match series heading into Sunday’s encounter in Sydney.
England selected spinners Michael Yardy and James Tredwell with a view to giving them match practice ahead of the World Cup in the sub-continent, but Strauss accepted that it had been an error.
Yardy's nine overs of slow left-arm cost 61 - albeit including two wickets - while off-spinner Tredwell returned figures of 0-44 off eight overs.
By contrast, opening bowlers Ajmal Shahzad and Chris Tremlett shared six wickets, while fellow seamer Tim Bresnan claimed two.
“You always look back at things when you have lost,” Strauss said. “In hindsight, we should probably have got the fourth seamer in our side - that was a mistake.
“The World Cup is in the back of our minds, there’s no doubt about it, but we’ve got to pick the right team for the conditions and we probably didn’t do that today.
“We have to look at what we did wrong today. We might not have set the field so far back for Marsh at the start of the powerplay.
"The (biggest regret) is that Doug Bollinger got 30 and put on all those runs with Marsh.
“Ultimately we put ourselves in a good position with the ball and we should have been better with the bat as well.”
Marsh, who came to the crease with Australia 32 for four, took the match award for an innings which spanned 114 balls and contained eight fours and two sixes.
Seven England players made 16 or more, but Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell ended a disappointing chase as the joint top-scorers with 32 apiece.
“Shaun Marsh played exceptionally well,” said Strauss. “The seam bowlers did a fantastic job and we were in a great position with them eight down, but that partnership between Marsh and Bollinger gave them some very important momentum heading into their bowling stint and it was a poor performance with the bat.
“We still could have chased 230 but we didn’t go about it very well. When you are chasing 230 you need one guy to get 80-odd and none of us did that. There we lots of 20s and 30s and ultimately it wasn’t good.
“We lost early wickets and none of our batsmen played that anchor role that Marsh did for Australia. The run-rate was creeping up as well, so we weren’t as busy as we could have been and that created pressure later on. It was a very poor day.”
Trott and Bell seemed to quell the initial threat with a 47-run stand for the fourth wicket, but both fell to loose shots in the space of four overs, Trott pulling a Steven Smith long-hop to midwicket and Bell steering Brett Lee to backward point,
“A lot of us made poor decisions today. There were quite a few soft dismissals,” added Strauss, who nonetheless refused to chastise his top order.
“The one thing I’d say is that we aren’t in the business of handing out huge recriminations to our batsmen. We want to see them play positively - that’s the most important thing for us.
“It’s worked well for us in the past and the last thing we want to see is batsmen going into their shells. In that sense it won’t be all doom and gloom. We just have to play smart cricket and we didn’t do enough of that today.”
Strauss denied suggestions that England are struggling to lift themselves for the one-day series on the back of their historic Ashes success.
“I don’t think so,” he said. “It was just one of those poor days on a slow wicket which forces you to either play aggressively or you are going to build up a lot of dot balls.
“We are going to have to sit down and chat through it and make sure we don’t make those mistakes again. We will have to regroup pretty quickly for Sydney.”
Meanwhile, Tim Bresnan, who batted with a runner, is due to have his tight calf assessed shortly.