Qantas Tour of England - ODIs

Aussies slip to 34-year rankings low

ICC update puts Tim Paine's side below Pakistan in sixth spot after consecutive defeats to England

Cricket Network

18 June 2018, 10:07 AM

Australia's under-fire ODI team has slipped to a 34-year low, dropping to sixth position on the ICC's latest rankings table after losing the opening two fixtures of the ongoing five-match series against England.

And only a remarkable come-from-behind series win, or rain, can save them from further unwanted history; never before has an Australian side lost four consecutive bilateral series (min two matches).

England take 2-0 lead despite Marsh ton

With losses to the world's No.1 ODI team in London and Cardiff, Australia has fallen to 102 rankings points to sit a fraction of a point below 2017 Champions Trophy winners Pakistan.

Among the playing squad, only Shaun Marsh was alive the last time Australia found themselves in sixth position – that was in January 1984, some 11 months before current captain Tim Paine was born and six months after a group stage exit at the 1983 World Cup.

It has been a swift fall for the defending world champions. Less than two years ago they were ranked No.1 heading into an away series against South Africa. But when an under-strength squad with a group of rookie fast bowlers was whitewashed 5-0 by the Proteas (the first time Australia had lost a bilateral series 5-0), cracks were revealed in a 50-over game plan that suddenly looked dated. That was particularly the case in comparison to a revamped England, who were smashing record totals and rising in the rankings as Australia's lofty status slipped.

Despite the home successes against New Zealand (3-0) and Pakistan (4-1) that followed the disaster in South Africa, Australia have won just nine times (eight at home) out of 23 completed ODIs since to ultimately find themselves in their current predicament.

More recently, a stretch of 13 defeats in 15 completed ODIs is unprecedented in the history of the five-time World Cup winners.

Paine said he was confident Australia would be able to hit back against England in the third ODI at Nottingham on Tuesday.

"I think we can (win), I really do," he said. "I think our best cricket is good enough to beat these guys, we just haven't put the complete package together.

"In the first game we didn't bat well, and (in Cardiff) we didn't bowl as well as we would have liked."

We lost wickets at key times again: Marsh

Shaun Marsh, who scored a fine hundred in a losing cause in Cardiff, was hopeful but realistic in his post-match press conference on Saturday.

"We know we need to improve a fair bit to get that win," he said. "We're heading in the right direction but we still need lots of improvement.

"Hopefully we can see that in a few days' time and try and get back into this series."

Qantas tours of the UK and Zimbabwe

ODI squad: Tim Paine (c), Aaron Finch (vc), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Travis Head, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Shaun Marsh, Michael Neser, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye

England ODI squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes (injured), David Willey, Chris Woakes (injured), Mark Wood

T20 squad: Aaron Finch (c), Alex Carey (vc), Ashton Agar, Travis Head, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Andrew Tye, Jack Wildermuth

Qantas Tour of the UK

June 7: Australia beat Sussex by 57 runs at Hove

June 9: Australia beat Middlesex by 101 runs at Lord's

June 13: England won by three wickets at The Oval

June 16: England won by 38 runs in Cardiff

June 19: Third ODI, Trent Bridge (D/N)

June 21: Fourth ODI, Durham (D/N)

June 24: Fifth ODI, Old Trafford

June 27: Only T20, Edgbaston (D/N)

Qantas T20I tri-series Tour of Zimbabwe

July 1: Zimbabwe vs Pakistan

July 2: Pakistan vs Australia

July 3: Australia vs Zimbabwe

July 4: Zimbabwe vs Pakistan

July 5: Pakistan vs Australia

July 6: Australia vs Zimbabwe

July 8: Final