By Wisden India staff in Mirpur
“We’ve had a great winter and you can’t take that away from us,” says England Women captain after losing ICC Women’s World T20 final
Charlotte Edwards and her team earned the right to play the final of the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 2014 against Australia Women purely on merit. The rivalry and the banter was the biggest talking point in the build up to the final on Sunday (April 6), but, on the big stage, England fumbled and slipped behind very quickly as it became one-way traffic very early on. In the end, England lost by six wickets to finish second, just as it had in the previous edition of the tournament in 2012 in Colombo.
Edwards put down the loss to her young team's inability to seize the key moments with the bat. "I think they bowled well upfront; we didn’t get as many in the Power Play as we should have," she explained. "We got going again after that and then lost three quick wickets. Sarah’s (Taylor) dismissal was crucial and then Heather (Knight) and Lydia (Greenway) followed. They were our backbone. And then to expect the inexperienced middle order to get 130-140 was always going to be a tough ask."
That England ended with just 105 for 8 was courtesy incisive bowling by Australia's medium pacers, particularly Sarah Coyte, who took 3 for 16. Although Edwards looked disappointed and unusually subdued, she praised the Australian team. "We knew they were a big threat with the bat. But when you are chasing 105, you can come out and play like the way they did. A total like that is never going to win you a World Cup final. I think they bowled exceptionally well. We have to accept we didn’t have any answers with bat or ball. They’re deserving champions,” said Edwards.
An area where England was found wanting was with the power hitting – England didn't manage to hit a single six in the tournament as compared to Australia's 18. While Edwards conceded it was an aspect it needed to work harder at, she felt that wasn't the reason for its loss in the final. "It’s not been a problem in the past. We’ve won a lot of T20 games without hitting many sixes, but we have to admit it is something our coaches will look at once we get home," she said.
"Other teams have more power aspect to their game. We need to reassess that, but that's not the reason why we lost today. We came into the game really confident. We won two Ashes series, but our young side just didn't turn up today. I’m not going to look too deep into it."
Since taking over as captain in 2006, Edwards has led the team for close to 200 matches across formats. While England’s inability to make the final of the 2013 50-over World Cup came as a big blow, it bounced back in style to win two successive Ashes series on the bounce.
Edwards said Sunday's loss wouldn’t devalue what the team has achieved over the last six months. "I’m incredibly proud of the way we have played over the last six-eight months," she said. "To go out to Australia and beat this side in their own den was one of our greatest achievements. We didn't bring the players we would have probably liked, a few of them sat at home, but the girls have been outstanding, those who have come in have performed well."
Inevitably, when the question of retirement or giving up captaincy popped up, Edwards offered a straight bat. "I’ve enjoyed cricket as much as I have. I’m motivated to stay on till the 2017 (50-over) World Cup final," she affirmed. "I’m not going to be too downbeat. Yes it is disappointing not to win here but we’ve had a great winter and you can’t take that away from us."