England misery drags on

Julian Harris
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Cook accepts blame after Australia dish out another beating

ENGLAND captain Alastair Cook admits that he must start setting a better example to his fellow top-order batsmen, after the tourists were comprehensively beaten once again in Australia yesterday.

Having succumbed to a whitewash 5-0 defeat in the Ashes, England began their one-day international series with a six-wicket loss in Melbourne.

An out-of-form Cook, who managed just 14 runs in the final Ashes Test, was caught behind during the first over of the day, while Joe Root only managed three runs off 23 balls.

“It’s never easy when you’ve lost 5-0 and you’re not scoring enough runs. I’ve got to concentrate on trying to score more runs, simple deal,” said Cook, adding that England’s top order must score centuries if the one-day team is to win the best-of-five series.

“I need to start scoring runs to help us turn things around. You can’t keep asking the lads to do it if you’re not doing it.”

Ian Bell and Gary Ballance fared better with the bat, scoring 41 and 79 respectively as England ended on 269-7 after their 50 overs.

Yet an inexperienced attacking line-up found life tough against the hosts, with opener Aaron Finch scoring 121 as Australia reached 270 with nearly five overs to spare. The second match is in Brisbane on Friday.