Melbourne, Apr 10 (ANI): Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has asked his teammates to start "putting their hands up" after the top five batsmen let the side down again, giving a 2-1 lead to South Africa in the five match series.
Needing to win their five-game one-day series against South Africa to claim the world No.1 ODI ranking, Australia lost the third ODI by 25 runs.
South Africa won the toss in game three, scoring 6-289 on a slow-paced pitch. In reply Australia slumped to 5-114 and managed 7-264 in total, with Hopes hitting an unbeaten 63 and Callum Ferguson also making 63, a career-best tally for both batsmen.
After calling on his top three of Brad Haddin, Michael Clarke and himself to lead the way in game three, the trio scored 15, 35 and 20 respectively, FOX Sports reported.
David Hussey (20) also failed to turn a start into a big score while Mike Hussey (1) was out to a dubious lbw decision.
Game four is in Port Elizabeth on Monday and it's do-or-die time for Australia.
"It's about all of us understanding what our roles are and performing our roles to the best of our ability all the time. Right at the moment we've just got too few that are doing that and that's what is costing us the games," Ponting said.
"If you look at the Durban game (which Australia won by 141 runs) that's probably what we had there, more so on the bowling front than the batting front. That was the trademark of our cricket in the Test series. We had guys putting their hand up and getting the jobs done when it was their turn to do that.
"In the last two games we've had too few guys trying to carry the load and win the game for the team. If you look at us tonight, the top three all got starts, 15, 20 and 35. No one went on and got that big score," Ponting said.
"We do need more runs out of our batting full stop, it's just not just the top three. We just need a better and more rounded team performance if we're going to win in Port Elizabeth," he added. (ANI)