Australia let themselves be bullied, says Arthur
Australia coach Mickey Arthur is out of answers after England's tough interrogation in Durham on Saturday, which saw the home side secure a 3-0 series win in emphatic fashion and make a mockery of the Aussies' number one ODI ranking.
The Australians lost by eight wickets at Chester-le-Street, with Steve Finn dismantling the visiting batting order and Ian Bell once again stepping up to the crease to dominate with a fine half century.
If the third ODI hadn't rained out, England would probably have been on their way to a series whitewash, and with it the top ranking in fifty-over cricket. Had they done so, they would have been the best side in all three formats, according to the numbers.
Arthur, who has seen his bowlers take only 11 wickets in three matches, was blunt in his assessment of his players' performances, saying there is 'something missing' from the one-day side, and than no player has yet shown attacking, positive intent.
A despondent Arthur said: "I think our Test team is really good, it's really settled, it's got that hard edge. The Twenty20 team, we haven't really had that much time together, but the one-day team there's just that something missing.
"I've said it all through our home summer, there's just something missing. I'm not sure what it is. Is it character, is it ambition? I'm not sure - there's just something clearly missing.
"I've challenged the players, I'll always be honest and I'll say it how it is. I'm really looking for a response.
"I want to see a bit of mongrel come Tuesday, I really do. I think we've been a bit submissive this whole series. We've allowed [ourselves] to be bullied, and we're better than that.
"I don't think we've had a presence this series. I'm talking absolute presence when batters are out there, like the presence our Test team had against India - when we walked on that field there was body language, we were strong, we were decisive, there was that presence.
"But we haven't had that presence in our one-day side. We didn't really get that presence in our one-day side through the international summer at home as well, and that's something we've been fiddling with, trying to get.
"We just don't seem to have the answers at the moment."
Arthur was eager to stress the importance of having one player stand up and be counted, like England have had in Bell, Eoin Morgan and a host of others, depending on the game at hand. He was also worried about the lack of basics, and credited England for doing the schoolboy stuff well.
He added: "I guess in both disciplines we haven't found that way, and that's disappointing and worrying me a bit to be honest. I'm searching, I'm looking for those answers, I'm looking for that mongrel, looking for that guy who's going to stand up and change the game.
"We're looking for the guy who's going to take responsibility and say 'I'm the champ', I want to change momentum in a game. We seem to be a little bit submissive - we haven't stood up and we haven't grasped an opportunity like England have.
"We've spoken at length that if we can get them three down we're towards Craig Kieswetter then we're into Bresnan. Well, we've seen Kieswetter bat once at Lord's and we haven't seen Bresnan bat yet. And yet our batters, who are world class, seem to be getting out and put under the pump.
"Again, hats off to England, they're outstanding, but they're only doing the basics well. Cricket's about basics - we've got to do the basics better, we've got to be nailing those basics. I want to see them nail the basics like we do in training. We don't do it in the middle, and that's my worry, that's what I'm looking for."
The fifth and final ODI, Australia's last chance to register a win, is on Tuesday at Old Trafford in Manchester.