Head Coach Mark Robinson has been “incredibly impressed” by the talent in the England women team as he prepares to take charge of his first competitive game against South Africa on Sunday.
Robinson was appointed coach in November last year and he only met some members of the squad in the airport en-route to South Africa last month.
But since touching down in the southern hemisphere the former Sussex coach has been given plenty of reason for optimism – highlighted by two thumping defeats of a South Africa Emerging XI – before the limited-overs series begins in Benoni.
“It’s not ideal to meet half of your team at the airport on the flight to South Africa but they’ve done remarkably well to come to terms with me as much as any new coaching team,” he told ecb.co.uk.
“We’re asking them to do some different things, we’re asking them to come out of their comfort zone.
“I’ve been incredibly impressed by them and incredibly excited by the potential within the group.”
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Robinson sees plenty of room for improvement amongst a team that is sitting fifth on the ICC Women’s Championship table, just two points behind South Africa.
“The group don’t know how good they can be,” Robinson said.
“They lack a little bit of belief they lack a little bit of experience. You get experience and belief from playing games and from practising well and having security in your skills.
“That’s up to myself and the coaching steam to put that belief and confidence and hopefully some experience into these girls. You need to make some mistakes as well.
“We’ve got to allow them to do those types of things as well, but as I say I’m very, very impressed with the potential and they have such a high ceiling with these ladies.”
England can move back into the top-four, and a direct entry place for next year’s World Cup on home soil, if they claim a series win in the three-match one-day international series.
Robinson’s is more concerned, however, at shaping the team going forward rather than worry about the pressure of table positions.
“We’ve got to play well obviously but it’s how we play as well,” he said.
“We want to put something in place that is going to make this England team one of the best in the world for a long, long time not just for tomorrow.”