Captain Charlotte Edwards says poor batting cost her side in the two-run Women's World Cup defeat by Australia in their opening Super Six match.
Chasing 148, the holders slipped to 39-6 before falling short on 145 and now need other results to go their way if they are to make the final in Mumbai.
Edwards said: "There was some poor shot selection. Numbers three, five, six and seven faced 12 balls between them.
"In a tough position you need those people to stand up and they didn't."
Australia, who have not lost to England in a World Cup match since 1993, are top of the Super Six group with six points and are on the verge of making the final.
With only the top two advancing, England, on two points, need to win their final two matches against South Africa on Sunday and New Zealand on Wednesday if they are to defend the trophy they won in 2009.
England also saw the middle order wobble in the opening defeat by Sri Lanka and the subsequent win over West Indies, but Edwards says she has no concerns for the rest of the tournament.
"Individually they have all stood up at times, collectively maybe we haven't as a group batted well," said the 33-year-old opener.
"Batting is where we need to improve, but I'm not worried."
Sarah Taylor, England's number three who has been linked with a move to men's cricket, has so far failed to impress, scoring only 35 runs in the tournament.
All of those runs came against India, after the wicketkeeper missed the opening game against Sri Lanka through injury. Her last two innings has resulted in first-ball ducks.
"Sarah Taylor hasn't scored runs in the competition, but she's dangerous and I'm expecting big things to come from her," said Kent's Edwards.
"She's too good a player to go through too many games without scoring. Hopefully, with two big games to come, she'll fire for us."
However, former England batter Ebony Rainford-Brent believes Taylor may have been affected by both the pre-tournament hype and her injury.
"If all of a sudden you're on the front page of a newspaper, that would affect anyone," said Rainford-Brent, who was part of the England's successful 2009 squad.
"Also, she's had a niggle. If she's not been training in the same way then that could have hampered her preparations.
"We saw against India that she is a quality player. She and the coaches need to address any problems she might have because England need her runs."