Australia opener David Warner called for the top order to step up with more runs in a bid to arrest Australia’s recent slide in one-day cricket.
Australia have lost their last five successive ODIs, starting from the second ODI of their three-match series in India, which then carried into the three-match series in South Africa, where they were swept 3-0 by the hosts.
Lack of big partnerships and runs from the batting core has been the running theme through these defeats, with Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne being the only two batsmen to score fifty or more across those games, with the exception of the second ODI against South Africa, where Aaron Finch and D’Arcy Short struck half-centuries.
"The only thing I can put it [the string of defeats] down to is the top four not scoring the bulk of the runs," Warner said. "You can't do it all the time, but at least one of us [has to] go on and be there at the end. It is disappointing, but at the end of the day, we've got to keep trying to get better at that, try to find a balance with our batting through the middle as well."
Warner cited Labuschagne’s hundred in the third ODI against South Africa as an example of the right kind of application from a top-flight batsman. "Marnus showed that application the other day in Potch," Warner said.
"Obviously, it was a big occasion for him, going back home for the first time and playing in his home town. It was awesome to see him get that hundred, but if you look back at the last 10 one-day games against South Africa, we've won one."
Australia begin their three-match ODI series against New Zealand on Friday 13 March.