London, June 14: Tim Paine blamed Australia's top order for his side's three-wicket defeat to England in the opening one-day international at the Oval on Wednesday (June 13).
After winning the toss and electing to bat, Paine watched as the tourists laboured to a paltry 214 all out, Australia dismissed with three overs of their 50 still remaining.
Four of Australia's top-five batsmen – including Paine, who made 12 - got starts before succumbing to spin, while Travis Head was dismissed cheaply by a swinging delivery from David Willey.
Not one specialist made it past 24, though, and that put Paine's side in trouble against the world's top-ranked ODI side. Even Glenn Maxwell's impressive 62 was not enough to lift them to a competitive total.
England toiled their way to victory but were always in control of the run chase, and Paine knows the visitors have to improve with the bat if they are to stand a chance in the five-match series.
"England's batting line-up is really deep, they are a hard side to bowl out, but our bowlers did terrific," he said at the post-match presentation.
"We were let down as a batting group. A lot of those guys have good white-ball skills. They played our spinners much better than we played theirs.
England need 215 to win.— ICC (@ICC) June 13, 2018
Moeen Ali and Liam Plunkett each took three wickets, while Adil Rashid took two and kept it tight. Glenn Maxwell's 64 was the only score of note from Australia.
Can they defend this small total?
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"We have given a few wickets away. Our top four or five didn't get the job done.
"Maxi has been hitting the ball well in the nets and nice to see him translate that to the middle.
"I thought it was simple today, our top order didn't get the job done."
Paine had praise for Australia's bowlers, however, as they took seven England wickets before David Willey bludgeoned the hosts to victory.
"They have a lot of skills and variations, so we're confident if we can get enough runs they will create enough chances to win matches," he added.
"Ask AJ , he'll tell you he has 22 variations at the last count. Add Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood and it's a pretty exciting group of fast bowlers."