Cole announced his international retirement after failing to make the team, but Scholes feels that his experience at major tournaments would have helped England.
"Not bringing Ashley Cole was probably a mistake – not so much for his attacking qualities – but more his defensive ones," he told Paddy Power.
"I think Baines and the whole of the back four have been found out a bit. It's been argued that John Terry could have steadied the ship and taken command – but he's not getting any younger either.
"Ideally what was needed was a young John Terry and a Rio Ferdinand in his prime to marshal the defence."
Cole made his final appearance for England during a 1-0 win over Denmark in March.