The last few months have not been easy to be an Australian cricket fan. Although the year started on a bright note for the Aussies as they won the Ashes 4-0 at home, since then, things have only gone downhill for the team from Down Under.
Australia were hit by the worst scandal in cricket’s recent history when skipper Steve Smith, his deputy David Warner and opening batsman Cameron Bancroft were handed lengthy bans for their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal that took place on the third day of Cape Town Test against South Africa. Darren Lehmann stepped down as head coach and was replaced by Justin Langer. Wicket-keeper Tim Paine was given the responsibility of leading the side in Tests and ODIs. On Tuesday, Australia witnessed yet another low in their recent calamitous journey as bitter rivals England thrashed them by a record 242 runs in the third ODI to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series at Trent Bridge. Legendary spinner Shane Warne and former skipper Michael Clarke were taken aback by the state of Australian cricket and took to Twitter to express their dismay.
Batting first, England scored 481/6, the highest-ever ODI score. Centuries from Jonny Bairstow (139) and Alex Hales (147), plus a 21-ball half-century from Eoin Morgan helped them eclipse the 444/3 they scored at the same venue against Pakistan two years ago.
The Australians then failed to show up with the bat. On a good batting pitch, they were all out for 239 in 37 overs. Barring Travis Head, who scored 51, none of the other batsmen could put up a good fight.
With this loss, Australia have now suffered back-to-back ODI series defeats against England for the first time in 41 years. The 242-run defeat is also their heaviest in ODIs.