England's one-day captain Eoin Morgan admitted his team would have to play close attention to bowler Mitchell Johnson if they are to save the series against Australia.
The hosts batted for barely 15 overs at Edgbaston in Birmingham before rain wiped out the third NatWest Series match.
After one washout in Leeds, this no-result and a defeat in Manchester, England will head next to Cardiff knowing that only victory there and in the last match in Southampton too will mean they add one-day international success over the tourists to the Ashes victory this summer.
Kevin Pietersen and Michael Carberry contrived a run-out which consigned the latter to his third low score in as many ODI attempts.
Then in a total of 59-3 under heavy cloud cover and floodlights, before more forecast rain arrived and terminated proceedings, Pietersen was undone by Johnson's pace and bounce and Jonathan Trott was also significantly discomfited by the left-armer in his five eye-catching overs.
Morgan acknowledges Johnson is currently a handful, but knows too that consistency is always likely to remain his biggest problem.
"I think he's bowling all right at the moment," said the Irishman. "He bowled well in the last game, and we know his capabilities. We've played against him for years.
"We know when he bowls well, he's pretty dangerous. We're aware of the fact he's a wicket taker and probably the guy who leads their attack."
On the other hand, England know it may not always be so and Morgan added: "I think it works both ways.
"We've played against him long enough to know that when he's at his best he's very, very good - but if he gets it wrong, he gives you enough scoring opportunities to capitalise."