Australia plummet to 34-year low
FOR the first time since 1984 Australia has slipped to sixth on the International Cricket Council's one-day international rankings.
After back-to-back losses against England, Australia has dropped to a rating of 102 on the ICC's ODI rankings, putting it a fraction of a point behind Pakistan.
And things could get uglier for the tourists, with Tim Paine's men on the brink of becoming the first Australian outfit to lose four consecutive bilateral ODI series since 1984.
On form, Australia's hopes of avoiding that unwanted history are slim. The tourists need to win their next three matches in a row, which would be some turnaround from a side that has lost 11 of its past 13 ODIs and has a win-loss ratio of 0.43 across the past 18 months.
That is the third worst in the world in this period, just ahead of Sri Lanka (eight wins and 25 losses, W/L ratio of 0.32) and Papua New Guinea (three wins and 10 losses, W/L ratio of 0.3).
Things are looking much more positive for Eoin Morgan's team, with England looking to win consecutive ODI series against Australia for the first time since 1976.
The hosts will be confident of getting the job done given they have not lost consecutive ODIs since January 2017, and have not lost consecutive matches at home since September 2015.
However, there is some good news for the Australians. If they manage to win any of the remaining three ODIs they will lift themselves back above Pakistan on the rankings.
On Saturday, Australia's batsmen took a step in the right direction. Bowled out for 214 in the series opener, the tourists made 304 in Cardiff.
It was still well short of the 343-run target they were set after a bowling attack missing Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood was put to the sword.
It was the opposite of the performance Australia dished up in game one, when the rookie attack nearly bailed the side out after the batsmen struggled to a total of 214.
"We want to win and unfortunately we are just falling a little bit short at the moment," Shaun Marsh, who scored a century on Saturday, said. "We need to regroup over the next few days and work on the areas we need to work on and hopefully put in an all-round performance at Trent Bridge."
The two sides next meet on Tuesday (11pm EST) at Nottingham.