Aaron Finch has admitted Australia are still searching for their "best formula" in ODI cricket as they prepare to battle world champions England at Old Trafford.
The 50-over clashes follow the T20 series in Southampton, where Australia's middle-order troubles were frequently exposed as they lost the series 2-1.
The opening match on Friday will be the first ODI between the traditional rivals since England bossed proceedings during last year's World Cup semi-final at Edgbaston.
Finch, Australia's white-ball captain, was blunt in his assessment of the Aussie side and commented on the need for improvement.
"Over the last couple of years we're still searching for our best formula and our best 11 players day in, day out in the one-day format," he told reporters.
"I don't think there's been any secret to that. There's been a great opportunity that we probably haven't nailed in this format. We've played some really good cricket in patches and some indifferent cricket in other patches."
Australia's fifth position in the global ODI rankings depicts their middling fortunes in the 50-over format.
Finch thus highlighted the importance of Australia getting their "processes really rolling in one-day cricket" ahead of the 2023 World Cup in India.
"I think it's just finding a consistent selection formula," he said.
"We did a lot of work in the Covid break on how we think we can structure our one-day cricket and where we think we need to get to for that 2023 World Cup.
"It's about getting as much information all the time to give us the best chance of winning consistently. One-day cricket is a hard game, especially away from home."
Finch was quite impressed with England's remarkable batting depth and commended the merciless approach that set them apart from the rest of the cricketing nations.
The hard-hitting opening batsman urged his bowlers to be wary of complacency against an attacking England line-up.
"They keep coming at you," he warned his compatriots. "There's no part in a 20-over game or a 50-over game that you can take your foot off the gas because there will be someone there to take the opportunity away from you."
"I think their form in white-ball cricket has been exceptional in both formats over the last few years," he continued. "Obviously their one-day game has probably been the benchmark since probably 2016 so it's going to be a great challenge."