Tim Paine described playing in Australia's heaviest ODI loss as the "hardest day" of cricket he had ever experienced. England's 242-run victory - their biggest winning margin in an ODI - secured an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series and left the Australian side, depleted through injury and suspensions, reeling.

Spearheaded by centuries for Jonny Bairstow and Alex Hales, England smashed the record for the highest innings when they set Australia a target of 482 for victory. None of Australia's bowlers were spared and at times a total of 500 seemed possible.

"It was tough," said Paine. "I thought I had some headaches last game after about the 25th over when I got hit in the head but I had a few more out there today to be honest .

"I've just said in the changing rooms, I've been playing cricket since I was a kid and that's the hardest day's cricket I've ever had in my life.

"Everything we tried didn't work and everything they tried came off. Normally that happens for an hour or two and you get a couple of wickets but it happened for as long as it did.

"You've got to take your hat off. They struck the ball as well as I've ever seen."

Paine had won the toss and elected to field on what was an ideal batting surface at Trent Bridge but he said England's form meant his decision had no bearing on the result.

"I don't think the conditions or the wicket or what we did first had anything to do with that result. We just ran into some guys that are absolutely red hot at the moment and yeah they put us to the sword a bit but certainly, from batting or bowling second, the wicket was still terrific when we batted on it as well. We just didn't execute so well with either."

Paine used a total of eight bowlers as Australia tried to prise out wickets on a pitch that gave them little assistance and against batsmen who punished the good balls as well as the bad.

"When we are out there it's all about staying calm and clear as possible and as you saw today that can be really difficult for a bowler when you're getting smacked around the park and the crowd's going berserk.

"It can be hard to stay on track and you know even the simplest plans can be forgotten. I was just trying to stay as calm as I could with them because I know they're a really inexperienced attack. We just kept talking about what we could do and what we'd said we would do. Just tried to keep it calm and simple."

With the series lost, Paine indicated that Australia will continue to tinker with their batting line-up as they try to fill the significant holes left by the absence of Steven Smith and David Warner. But a two-day turnaround before the fourth ODI in Chester-le-Street leaves the new captain and coach, Justin Langer, with little time to lift their charges.

"The best place for these guys to learn is on the job," Paine said. "So as bad as it feels right now this can be a big positive for us going forward that we've gone through a day like this and the guys realise that the sun comes up tomorrow and we get another crack at it in two days' time."

Melinda Farrell is a presenter with ESPNcricinfo