Australia England 2018 481 world record Justin Langer
Tough times lie ahead of Justin Langer © Getty Images

Australia coach Justin Langer hopes his side will be better for a ‘brutal’ and record-breaking defeat by England in the third ODI at Trent Bridge on Tuesday that was ‘nothing like’ anything he had ever seen before. England piled up 481 for 6, the highest ever total in men’s ODI history, following hundreds by Alex Hales (147) and Jonny Bairstow (139), with Jason Roy (82) and skipper Eoin Morgan, who made a quickfire 67, also taking part in the Trent Bridge run-spree.

In reply, world champions Australia were dismissed for just 239 as England won by 242 runs — their heaviest victory and Australia’s largest defeat, in terms of runs, at this level.

Langer said Australia, now 0-3 down in the 5-match contest against 2019 World Cup hosts England, “can’t have had a worse day” as they suffered a 14th defeat in 16 completed ODIs. Amid a welter of depressing statistics for the tourists, England hit a staggering 21 sixes and 41 fours, while Australia paceman Andrew Tye’s 9 wicketless overs cost 100 runs.

Langer admitted the crushing reverse which condemned his side to their fourth straight bilateral series defeat in this format, topped even an extraordinary 2006 ODI that saw South Africa make 438 for 9 in reply to Australia’s 434 for 4 at Johannesburg’s Wanderers ground.

“It’s a shock,” said a stunned Langer. “That is literally England at its best. It’s no fluke that they are No. 1 in the world. I’ve never seen nothing like that. I was in Johannesburg when Australia got 400 and South Africa then got it, but that was just brutal. Hopefully our young guys can learn from it — it doesn’t get harder than that.”

Australia are, however, in England without six first-choice players. Former captain Steven Smith and his deputy David Warner, two of the world’s best batsmen, are serving year-long bans for their roles in March’s ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town — which also led to then coach Darren Lehmann’s resignation and his subsequent replacement by Langer. In addition, the Ashes-winning fast-bowling trio of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood are all injured, as is all-rounder Mitchell Marsh.

The upshot is that Langer has still to enjoy an international win as Australia coach. “I’ve known what the task is before this game, it’s to build a team and to get better,” said Langer, once a mentor to former England captain-turned-administrator Andrew Strauss when they both played for Middlesex.

“I’ve got massive respect for England and the way they are playing their cricket,” added Langer. He also had rich words of praise for England’s top order: “Their top three are brutal. The way they are playing is reminiscent of how we used to play in our day with Gilly, Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting at the top.”

But Langer was adamant Australia should not have been bowled out with 13 overs left in their innings on the “best batting track in the world” on Tuesday. “We’ve got to bat against the top and against spin. For us to get bowled out in the 37th over on the best batting track in the world — there was huge missed opportunities there for some of our batters. Can’t have had a worse day.”

Meanwhile, Langer said his job was to boost the morale of all his side ahead of Thursday’s fourth ODI at Chester-le-Street, headquarters of northeast county side Durham: “I have to look after them all, These are the days when you are like a dad, not a headmaster. We’ll look after them. It was a tough day but we’ll keep chipping away at it tomorrow.”