World Twenty20: England's women told to toughen up after run ends at hands of world leaders Australia

England women's coach Mark Robinson has told his side they need to 'get fitter and toughen up' to keep pace with Australia.

England's Natalie Sciver is bowled as she bats during the Twenty20 semi-final in Delhi on Wednesday against Australia, who won by five runs. Picture: AP/Manish Swarup

The Southern Stars edged Robinson’s side by just five runs in the semi-final of the World Twenty20, captain Meg Lanning top-scoring on the day with a measured 55.

An Australia victory has become a recurring theme of the Ashes rivalry in recent years and Robinson, having taken charge of his first global tournament, has vowed to push his players physically to change that.

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Better running between the wickets would arguably have been enough for England on this occasion, with several likely twos turned into ones in the middle.

“For me it’s quite simple, we’ve got to get fitter and toughen up a little bit,” said the former Sussex coach.

“We’re not fit enough, they out-ran us. Athleticism is something you’re given by God, but aerobic fitness is something we’ve got to get better at because we missed out on twos.

“We’re looking for players who can stand up and be counted, players that can play under pressure and have that aerobic fitness necessary to do the job.That will be a necessity for any women’s team I’m in charge of.”

Not for the first time in the past couple of lean years, Charlotte Edwards’s captaincy has come into question.

The 36-year-old, who became the top-scorer in the tournament with 31 here, has been in the job for 10 years, but has shown no desire to relinquish the reins.

Asked if she still had the hunger to lead her country, Edwards said: “Absolutely. Of course I want to continue captaining England, but if I’m not the right person then that’s not my decision. I want to continue.”

England were going well at 89-1 in the 14th over, Tammy Beaumont top-scoring with 32, but not for the first time in the competition lost wickets in clusters as the pressure mounted, to finish 127-7.

They needed 13 off the final over to get over the line but could not muster a single boundary as Rene Farrell closed out the win.

England hit three sixes to Australia’s zero but it was the measured half-century by world No 1 batsman Lanning that settled this contest.