We’re a long way off Aust’s level: Morgan

Australia have asserted themselves as the world’s premier one-day side, with England captain Eoin Morgan saying his team has a long way to go before reaching Australia’s level.

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The World Cup winners declared their intentions pre-game that, despite a disappointing Ashes campaign, they were still the world’s top-ranked ODI side.

On Thursday night at the Rose Bowl in Southampton they showed why that’s still the case.

A vital, unbeaten 71 to Matthew Wade, who came to the crease at No.7 and put on a record 112 along with Mitch Marsh, helped Australia to 6-305 and highlighted the depth in batting Darren Lehmann and the selectors can call on.

Captain Steve Smith is being given plenty of options to throw the ball to as well – all six bowlers he used on Thursday responded with a wicket.

That included doubles to Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Shane Watson, as England were bowled out for 246 with 27 balls remaining.

“We can certainly improve. We are a long way off the world’s best at the moment,” Morgan said.

“(Australia) are a very strong side.

“We’ll have to play really well to beat them, and we didn’t do enough here today.”

Morgan believes his team has plenty to learn – and in 12 months he would expect a different result.

“I think down the line this is going to be a big part of our learning curve,” he said.

“Probably in a year’s time, we’ll be expected to chase that down more often than not – especially with that sort of a start.”

After England’s bright start, in which Jason Roy (67) and Alex Hales (22) put on 70 for the first wicket, Mitchell Marsh was called on and produced a breakthrough.

When England were sailing along in the 27th over at two wickets down, Watson struck his first blow and signalled the beginning of the end with the hosts going on to lose 8-94.

Seemingly, whenever Australia were in a tough spot, they turned to someone who knew how to dig them out of it.

“They put us under the pump, but I think we’re a better side than that,” Morgan added.