While England hogged headlines last week for their record breaking 481 at Trent Bridge, Australia bagged a small column for themselves when they were announced as the sixth best team in the ICC ODI rankings, a 34 year old record for the five-time World Cup winning champions.

Although they have missed key players in this series against England, Australia's plight stems from a long-standing problem in ODIs rather than the absence of some experienced cricketers. They have lost 13 of their last 15 One Day Internationals, a record that stretches to the beginning of the Champions Trophy in England last year.

This year, they have played 9 ODIs thus far, all against England, losing eight of them in the process. But their poor record in ODIs isn't something that has started recently. Since the 2015 World Cup which they won, Australia have been one of the poorest One Day International teams, losing 29 of the 59 matches they have taken part in, a win loss ratio of 0.931, better than only West Indies, Ireland, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka among Test members.

The World Cup winning team in 2015 is markedly different from the team competing in England now but muddle selection policies have contributed to their plight too. They have time and again reshuffled the ODI outfit without really giving anyone a long run. More importantly, even experienced campaigners have been moved around the batting order or dropped from the bowling attack at impromptu times.

A case in point would be Aaron Finch, who was played in the middle order for the first three ODIs on this England tour. He isn't the most affluent of players against spin and it stood out in his inability to kick on in the middle overs.

The moment Finch was promoted to the top, he responded with a magnificent century, at Chester-le-Street on Thursday. Travis Head is another who has been moved around the batting order.

While batting positions have been a problem, selection in itself has been a mess. Kane Richardson's consistent selection despite his ordinary returns has been baffling as has been playing around with Nathan Lyon as an option in limited-overs cricket.

He was one of Australia's best bowlers in the loss on Thursday and needs a longer run in the side ahead of the World Cup. Bits and pieces contributors like Ashton Agar and Marcus Stoinis are wasting spots and Australia might be better off resorting to specialists in these positions.

Their seamers on this tour - Billy Stanlake, Michael Neser, Andrew Tye, Kane Richardson and Jhye Richardson - have been pretty expensive and the spinners have barely taken any wickets compared to what Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali have been doing.

While the return of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins would definitely spice up their bowling, constant injuries and constant shuffling of back-up fast bowlers have hurt their cause. The seamers on the tour of South Africa in 2016-17 - Daniel Worrall, Joe Mennie, Chris Tremain, John Hastings (retired) and Scott Boland - are nowhere to be seen and there are several others who have debuted and vanished from the scenes. Lacking consistency in selection has hurt the confidence of players and it is showing in the team’s lacklustre show.

There is less than nine months to the showpiece event in England and if Australia need to do something, they need to do it right now. Tim Paine's batting and captaincy is a cause for concern and the easiest option available, which could also solve some of their middle-order conundrums, is to bring back George Bailey as skipper. He is an experienced campaigner and seems like the right guy to take the Aussies to the World Cup. Being a fine player of spin, Bailey could be the guy they need in that middle-order which appears thinner than thread at the moment.

They need to identify three to four back-up seamers and stick to them no matter what for the next four months at least. Conditions in England make seamers pretty important and with the kind of tracks that are being churned out, Australia might want to look for bowlers who take wickets rather than ones who rely on containment, something which seems impossible in England these days.

Aaron Finch can be permanently moved up the order with Travis Head moved back down the order. For the time being at least, Alex Carey at the top of the order appears an enticing option, given that he could replace Paine with the gloves too. Shaun Marsh can be persisted with after his fine run of form this series. They need clarity in selection with respect to players like Usman Khawaja, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Agar and Nathan Lyon. Ideally, Lyon, given his experience should make it to the World Cup squad but Justin Langer might want to bring in a wrist spinner into the mix.