Who should be dropped? Australia player ratings
NOT good enough for long enough was how Australian captain Tim Paine summed up a final-game fade out in Manchester which was also symptomatic of a tour that ended up with the World Cup champions on the wrong side of cricket history more than once.
Australia had England on toast at Old Trafford, frying in the unusual presence of a semi-hot sun despite the home team having dominated the series with the bat and chasing a bite sized snack of just 205 to seal the first whitewash ever against the old enemy.
The hosts, who racked up a world record 481 just last week, were blistering in the sun at 8-114 after big Billy Stanlake upped his speedometer and took three wickets in a wicked first spell.
But then Jos Buttler, the man Shane Warne has had too much to do with recently for Australian liking, shouldered a massive load and with batters 10 and 11, Adil Rashid then Jake Ball, carried his team home with a century that earned him man of the series honours.
Paine expressed significant frustration and disappointment for a loss that "stings" but acknowledged that given the opportunity to end the series on a high, his men didn't perform when the pressure went up.
"We haven't been able to put a full game together at any stage and I think it has shown throughout the whole series," Paine said after the final defeat in Manchester.
"Every time England's good players have put us under pressure, with the bat or the ball, we have stumbled a little bit, and that's probably again what happened today.
"Guys are probably just over-thinking it a bit. It's just a frustration that we haven't been able to put a full game together."
The series rout raised question over Australia's own World Cup campaign with less than 12 months until the contest, back in England next year.
It raised doubts about Paine's own place in the side too after he scrounged just 36 runs in five innings.
But the captain said the emphatic series loss had also presented the group with answers too, about players and other matters and dismissed any suggestion this new look group, thrown to the wolves with so many players absent, wouldn't be able to cut it next year.
"I think everyone who is here is going to be in the mix for that world Cup squad. We don't know who is going to be available. We have a number of players who are out, whether they are back or still injured, we're not sure," Paine said.
"What I do know is within Cricket Australia, and we have a number of players in this squad who have played in and won world Cups, so they know what it takes."
Paine, batsman Shaun Marsh, spinner Nathan Lyon and bowler Michael Neser all leave the squad which now heads to Birmingham for a one off T20 clash with England on Wednesday.
Nic Maddinson, Mitchell Swepson and Jack Wildemuth have joined the squad in Manchester and will head south for the clash before they travel to Zimbabwe for a T20 tri-series with Pakistan.
TIM PAINE © - 4
5 games, 36 runs @ 7, HS 15
Gets an extra point for good keeping but his hold on the one-day captaincy has to be tenuous after he failed to deliver any runs, and his dismissal in the final game, run out going for a dodgy single amid an Aussie batting collapse, was a mental lapse a captain just can't have. With Alex Carey ready and available to keep wicket and Aaron Finch a captaincy candidate, Paine could struggle to make the next Aussie ODI team, let alone the World Cup.
AARON FINCH (VC) - 5
5 games, 161 runs @ 32, HS 100
The most experienced player in the team got a single century in Durham but given he averaged 55 against England going in to the series, should have delivered more. Only 61 runs in four other innings and out in the final game trying to show some aggression against spin. Has four 100s in his past 11 games, though, and is a top-order tick for the World Cup. He could be captain too.
TRAVIS HEAD - 6
5 games, 194 runs @ 38, HS 62
Slotted in as David Warner's opening replacement for all five games. The South Australian got three 50s, but didn't go on with any of them. In fact he didn't bat past 20 overs in any game. Hit a lot of boundaries during his innings and got his runs fast, but too often gave away his wicket right when he shouldn't have.
SHAUN MARSH - 8
5 games, 288 runs @57.60, HS 131
The star performer with the bat, racking up to centuries despite being a surprise call-up for the team. He'll be 35 when the World Cup begins and how his body holds up between now and then, as well as the emergence of any other batsmen, could be a determining factor in his ongoing selection.
MARCUS STONIS - 3
5 games, 76 runs, HS 44, 2 Wickets @ 102.5 (2-205 off 30 overs in total)
Three single figure scores, and a duck in the final game, was a poor return from a man backed in to bat in the top four in every game and amid high expectations after coming in to the series averaging 62. Likely to get lots of support going forward, because he bowls too, buts he needs to give more consistent efforts with the bat to be a World Cup lock.
GLENN MAWXELL - 6
3 games, 112 runs, HS 62
Should have got a bigger score at The Oval but got starts every game. A shoulder injury prevented him having a greater impact but lock him in for the World Cup because Maxwell has the full support of the new leadership team, unlike the previous one.
D'ARCY SHORT - 4
3 games, 83 runs @ 41.5, HS 47*
Saved his best until last with a confident 47 not out in Manchester, but his decision to give the strike to number 11 Billy Stanlake two balls in to a Moeen Ali over was evidence of his international inexperience. And still has to find a way to combat spin if he wants to keep his place in the squad for the World Cup.
ALEX CAREY - 4
No one has done more net batting this tour than Carey who has been first in and last to leave most training days. Showed his worth with a promising 44 at Manchester, but it should have been more. His future could depend on whether selectors continue to back Paine as skipper because Carey does loom as the better long-term keeping and batting option, and selectors need to get value out of his national contract.
2 games, 50 runs @ 25, HS 44
ASHTON AGAR 7
5 games, 130 run @ 32.5 4 wickets @56 (4.-226 off 39 overs total)
His final game dismissal, leaving his second ball and being bowled, was a disappointing end to a promising tour for a would-be all-rounder who has plenty of love from the coach and his teammates. Has shown enough through five games, with bat and ball, to persist as a first-choice spinner but his batting prowess needs to be better for Langer to get the team balance he wants.
BILLY STANLAKE - 7
4 games, 6 wickets @ 35 (6-207 off 36 overs overall)
Stanlake's outstanding fast early spell at Manchester, trying to defend just 205, with most balls around 145kmh, showed he had something special, especially after copping onslaughts in every other match. The young attack has been continually put under pressure but the beanpole fast bowler has kept running in hard. His first class career is limited let alone his international one and he will be around for a while.
MICHAEL NESER - 3
2 games, 2 wickets @ 60 (2/120 off 16.4 overs total)
Given the new ball in the opening game at The Oval, after being a late addition to the squad, suggested he could be a breakthrough player in the series. Toiled well but has been on the end of some punishing English batting. He can bat too, but didn't deliver in that area at all.
JHYE RICHARDSON - 5
3 games, 5 wickets @ 42.80 (5-214 off 27 overs total)
Everyone is excited about this kid's potential and despite being hammered at times, he has shown a capacity to fight through the tough periods. His pace is a definite weapon and the 21-year-old is absolutely worth persisting with going to the World Cup.
KANE RICHARDSON - 6
3 games, 6 wickets @ 24.26 (6-148 off 24.3 overs total)
The South Australian seamer was spared from copping the biggest onslaughts from the English batsmen, left out at Trent Bridge. But he snared six wickets when given his opportunities and didn't get clobbered. A really honest bowler but still a fifth or sixth quick option when the first choice guys are available.
AJ TYE - 3
3 games, 4 wickets @ 55 (4-233 off 28 overs total)
Tumbled down the pecking order among the back-up bowlers after his battering at The Oval, when he returned 0-100 off just nine overs. The man with 22 variations failed to find anything to stop the onslaught. He gave up 81 runs off just eight overs the game before too and coach Justin Langer said the T20 specialist had to find a way to get through 10 overs at international level.
NATHAN LYON - 6
2 games, 1 wicket @ 35 (1-70 off 17 overs total)
Only played two games but showed his value and class in both. He's the most confident spinner in Australia and his reputation as a wicket-taker, he has 307 of them in Tests, could carry him a long way in the modern one-day game where batters do everything they can to get on top.