Ricky Ponting has questioned if England's high-speed batting approach was ever going to work at the World Cup as the tournament favourites' hopes hang in the balance.
Pakistan's defeat of New Zealand on Wednesday piled the pressure on the host nation, who are now fourth and just one point ahead of both Bangladesh and the 1992 champions.
England have finals-bound India and New Zealand in their run home, while Pakistan play Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
Bangladesh's other game is against India.
England have now lost their last two games, shocked by Sri Lanka last week and beaten convincingly by Australia on Tuesday.
But after dominating one-day cricket with their aggressive approach with the bat for the last four years, Ponting asked if it was the best game plan to take into a high-pressure tournament.
"They haven't made these 400 scores they have been talking about all the time," Ponting told cricket.com.au.
"The scores have been lower in this World Cup, as I think Justin (Langer) and I had spoken about at the start.
"Tournament play is a lot different to a regular bilateral series where England have come out and scored some huge scores in the past few years.
"Was their game going to stand up under pressure? We'll have to see in the next few games. They need to improve."
Ponting is one of the most successful players in World Cup history, winning three titles with Australia and two as captain.
Australia have long maintained their approach to one-day cricket, which includes building a platform before exploding late, is the best way to go for them.
Meanwhile, Tuesday's loss to Australia sparked England's critics into action with the likes of host broadcaster Sky Sports at one stage likening the situation to a "crisis".
But star England batsman Joe Root insisted their loss to Australia wasn't a case of the tournament favourites cracking under pressure at home.
"I wouldn't say that has been a massive thing," Root said.
"(It's) adapting to some of the conditions and turning up to some venues and things have been quite different throughout this tournament to when we play one-day series there in the past."