Cricket Expert & Columnist
Women's Ashes 2014: Charlotte Edwards seals series win in superb fashion
Skipper made the pitch look like an absolute belter in the best innings of her career...
Last Updated: 29/01/14 1:42pm
Edwards smote an unbeaten 92 to steer the tourists to a nine-wicket victory in the first T20 international against Australia, in Hobart - a win that gives England an unassailable 10-4 lead in the points-based series.
The 34-year-old struck a six and 13 fours - the last of them to win the match - and shared an unbroken stand of 114 with Sarah Taylor (50no off 37 balls) as England passed Australia's total of 150-3 with 13 balls remaining.
Knight told Sky Sports that Edwards' innings was exceptional.
"Edwards took England there in some style," he reflected. "[Former England bowler] Isa Guha was up in our commentary box and she said she hasn't seen her play any better.
"Let's bear in mind that she was under a lot of pressure. I spoke to her before the game started and I was amazed how calm she was even though they'd lost the last two ODIs.
"You would have thought that there would have been a bit of pressure building on the captain; her form has been ok but she played absolutely sublimely today.
"She's won the Ashes five times but as I was doing the interview with Sarah Taylor she walked past and was in tears; that reaction suggests this is the most important.
"You don't take anything for granted in this game and maybe she realises she is coming towards the end of a long and very distinguished career; I hope she has this opportunity again, because she leads the side so well, but it was great to see the raw emotion as she walked off."
England seized a 6-0 lead in the series by winning the only Test match and improved their lead to 8-0 with victory in the first of three ODIs, but went into the first T20 game under some pressure after losing back-to-back ODIs.
However, Knight felt Australia made a crucial mistake by opting to bat first after winning the toss.
"I had a good look at the pitch before the toss and I thought it would be slow - and I thought the pressure was on England given their last two results," he said.
"If Australia posted a good score batting first then they would have put pressure on England, who have folded in the last couple of games.
"If you look at it like that, you can understand why Australia made that decision. Conversely they were quite short boundaries and England's strength is probably with the bat. In hindsight, I think Australia probably did make the wrong decision.
"Edwards made the pitch look like an absolute belter even though I don't think it was. She got off to a flyer, hitting two sumptuous boundaries in the first over, and she never looked back.
"I think Australia, on reflection, will look at the fields that they set in those first few overs because they were ultra-aggressive; maybe their thought their total was a little bit light and they needed to get early wickets.
"Edwards will have been pleased, I think, that she had Sarah Taylor out there as well at the end. Taylor had a poor start to the series but she is coming into form at the right time.
"They are two experienced players - they're two of England's best players - who have played a lot of cricket together for England.
"You could see that experience tell; they never let the occasion get to them. They probably kept each other going throughout and bar the odd mix-up in the running, they looked in total control."
England began the day on the back foot after batsman Heather Knight and seamer Anya Shrubsole were ruled out, adding to an injury list that already included fast bowler Katherine Brunt (back) and all-rounder Laura Marsh (shoulder).
Seventeen-year-old Natasha Farrant came in to open the bowling, equipping herself well, and Knight said that with the World Twenty20 on the horizon this September, England's squad has a healthy balance of youth and experience.
"The squad's depth is a good sign moving forward. England have got plenty of players who can step in and do well: Katie Cross came into the squad during the series following the injury to Katherine Brunt," he said.
"Paul Shaw, who took over from former head coach Mark Lane, and his assistant David Capel have gone in a slightly different direction with the coaching set up but it hasn't affected the team in any way.
"There's one reason for that - the captain. Edwards has been the constant throughout. If they'd lost the captain in that period as well, they would have had to restructure everything.
"So Edwards has played a key role not only on the pitch but in her management role as well."
Watch the second Twenty20 international between Australia Women and England Women live on Sky Sports 2 from 3.25am on Friday.