Charlotte Edwards believes England's decision to play for draw in Women's Ashes Test was wrong
"I would prefer England to lose trying to win and I think the cricketing public would rather that in many ways you try to win the game"
Last Updated: 21/07/19 6:23pm
Charlotte Edwards has criticised England's decision to play for a draw in their must-win Test in the Women's Ashes against Australia.
After losing the first three one-day internationals in the multi-format series, only victory at Taunton would keep Heather Knight's side in with a chance of regaining the trophy.
However, having slipped to 185-5 in response to the Southern Stars' score of 420-8 declared, England scored a measly 14 runs in the final 15 overs of the day to finish on 199-6, still 221 runs behind their opponents' total.
"I don't really understand England's mindset during the final session of play today," former England captain Edwards told Sky Sports.
"Ultimately we can still win the Women's Ashes and it was far too early to, in effect, shut up shop and pretty much give the Ashes to the Australians.
"If they could get up to that 270 mark and avoid the follow-on, we would still be in this match but it seemed quite a bit before the end of play on Saturday that they decided they were not going to try to do that.
"It is disappointing from my point of view as a supporter, as well as a former player, because I fully believe that they should try.
"I would prefer England to lose trying to win and I think the cricketing public would rather that you try to win the game.
"Unfortunately, because of the results in the three ODIs, we have put ourselves in a position where we need to win the Test match and you need to put everything into doing that.
"It frustrates me because I am still passionate about England, I have been in Women's Ashes battles in the past and I believed England could have gained something from this Test match and should not have shut up shop so early.
"Whether you lose 16-0 points or 8-8 points, you have still lost the Ashes and that really hurts. I have been in some close Ashes series and whatever the scoreline, if you do not have the trophy, you've lost it.
"The bottom line is we could have lost the Ashes by the end of Saturday because of this mindset and that is not a great position to be in.
"Without a doubt media scrutiny plays on the team's mind, every aspect of the game is scrutinised, even us as commentators have an opinion about everything.
"I have been on the other side and decisions on mindset and how you play are made by the coach and the captain, they are the people that drive the team.
"Mark Robinson (head coach) and Knight will have been telling the players what to do out on the pitch because they are the people that have to answer the questions over what has happened.
"They have driven what has happened out on the pitch because they are responsible for the England Women's cricket team.
"I never worried about what people thought when I played, I was more disappointed about losing the Ashes. Those are the questions you have to answer.
"You want to compete and show what you can do and that was always the driving force for me during series, it was never about what the media thought of me, it was about what I thought of my team and personal performances.
"But it might have changed now because there is a lot more scrutiny on the team and players."
Former England batter Lydia Greenway echoed Edwards' thoughts on Robinson and captain Knight being the driving force behind Nat Sciver, Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole's decision to try to preserve their wickets.
"Often the mindset comes from the dressing room," she explained. "While the players are out on the pitch, the coaches will be discussing about what they will be doing, how they will approach play, then there will be a conversation with the captain and from that the style of play - for the day or a passage - will filter through.
"I can't be sure [that is what happened], but a question to ask from England's point of view would be were they trying to just go and win the three T20s and the series score ends 10-6 points [if they lose the Test] or 8-8 points [if they draw the Test] and it sounds a bit more respectable at the end series?
"Really it should not be about that - they were still in a position to where they could try and win the game and they have to believe it."
Watch the final day of the Women's Ashes Test match live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10.30am on Sunday.