England captain Heather Knight insists there is not as much between her side and Australia as the Women’s Ashes series would suggest.
Australia have retained the Ashes at the first opportunity after drawing the four-day Test match at Taunton.
They lead 8-2 in the multi-format series having won all three one-day internationals, with three Twenty20 games to go, beginning on Friday.
“The gap is not as big as some people are saying it is,” said Knight.
She told BBC Test Match Special: “Australia are ahead of us at the moment and we have to catch up. But we have not been good enough.
“We have not played to anywhere near our standards. We have competed for moments, but not for long enough.”
It was two points apiece at Taunton as England could not produce the final-day miracle they needed to win the Test and keep the Ashes alive.
Nat Sciver top-scored with 88 for England, but Ellyse Perry (76 not out) again batted well for the tourists.
England were always on the back foot after losing the toss and at no stage looked like winning the game.
“It was a bad toss to lose and we struggled to get wickets on day one,” added Knight.
“We couldn’t force things and we were a bit sloppy in the field.
“I was proud of the way we fought today and I was disappointed for Nat Sciver not to get a hundred.
“We tried to force a result but ultimately there was too much to do.
“We thought we’d be batting again and there might be a chance of a chase; I was a little bit surprised.
“But Australia have outplayed us and congratulations to them.”
Australia captain Meg Lanning was pleased to complete the first part of their mission, but said there will be no let-up for the Twenty20 internationals in Chelmsford, Hove and Bristol.
“Our main focus was to retain the Ashes,” she said.
“We are now looking at the T20s as a mini-series and we know England will come back hard.
“But there are still things for us to achieve and we want more wins on the board.”
‘My worry is about the gap in the future’ – the pundits’ verdict
TMS commentator Isabelle Westbury: “Australia’s big guns have outperformed England’s big guns. Heather Knight hasn’t had a great series perhaps, Sarah Taylor hasn’t performed with the bat and maybe Anya Shrubsole hasn’t bowled well.”
TMS commentator Melinda Farrell: “Australia are the better side at the moment but my worry is about the gap between these sides in the future. England could bounce back in the T20s but this is a very well-drilled Australian side who will want to win all three games.”
BBC Sport has launched #ChangeTheGame this summer to showcase female athletes in a way they never have been before. Through more live women’s sport available to watch across the BBC this summer, complemented by our journalism, we are aiming to turn up the volume on women’s sport and alter perceptions. Find out more here.