Charlotte Edwards admitted that the batting performance let England Women down as they suffered a seven-wicket defeat to Australia at the MCG.
Missing bowlers Anya Shrubsole, Natasha Farrant and Jenny Gunn, as well as batter Heather Knight, all through injury left Edwards naming a young bowling attack in the second Twenty20 international.
But a total of 98, having been inserted, was never going to be good enough for them to defend and Edwards felt the team failed to adapt to the slower pitch in Melbourne, having had no problems sweeping Australia aside in Hobart as they retained the Ashes on Wednesday.
Edwards said: “It was very disappointing. We didn’t bat well at all and we didn’t adapt to the conditions. It’s a slightly slower pitch here, and ultimately 98 is never going to be enough for a young bowling attack so we’re disappointed all round.”
The England skipper top-scored with 28 in England’s innings, following on from her match-winning 92 in Hobart that secured the series success, but she insists that the team had not lost their focus, citing the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh as enough motivation to keep her young side focused.
“We were missing six or seven of our main players out there today so I think it’s a great opportunity for the younger players to stake a claim for a World Cup spot,” said Edwards.
“The girls were really looking forward to today. We obviously want to end the tour on a high. The Aussies played well and bowled very well.
“I just don’t think we adapted to the pitch very well; it was a lot slower, and we just didn’t play well. There were some poor shot selections which ultimately cost us a half-decent total and, with a young bowling attack, we needed a lot of runs on the board today.
“You don’t ever want to lose a game of cricket, but we have to be realistic. We weren’t good enough today and Australia played very well.”
Edwards insisted that the injury problems were not too serious and that the missing players were left out to avoid aggravating their ailments.
Farrant and Gunn had both suffered back injuries, while Knight and Shrubsole had hamstring and hip issues respectively.
Edwards added: “Jen’s had a back problem and this morning felt she couldn’t move well enough and Tash Farrant was all very precautionary, but with what’s coming up we can’t afford to risk any of them.
“We can’t risk some of the injuries we’ve got at the moment. It wouldn’t be right.
“Our focus now is purely on the T20. These two games have been good for that. We haven’t done well today but now we look to Sunday.
“We’ve earned the right to go into these last two games and experiment but certainly we want to win these games as well; we’re really focused on that.”