ENGLAND must improve on their performances in the recent Ashes victory over Australia in order to repeat that success in South Africa, captain Andrew Strauss said yesterday.
"In some ways we will have to play better than we have played, certainly in my time as an England player," Strauss told a news conference.
"That's a bit of a step up for us. We are all aware at this stage of our development that we are not the finished product by any means."
England recorded a 2-1 home win over Australia in August and it is South Africa who now occupy top spot in the Test rankings.
"As a group we understand the extent of the challenge that this tour sets us," Strauss said.
"This is an opportunity for us to see where we are as a side and also to make some steps forward in terms of becoming more consistent."
The last time England toured South Africa in 2004-05, Michael Vaughan's team beat the hosts 2-1.
"(Beating) the No 1 side at home is as hard as it can get," Strauss said.
"There's a lot of hard work to be done if we want to get there and achieve that goal."
England's first tour game is a one-day match against franchise side the Eagles in Bloemfontein on Friday.
The first international is a Twenty20 against South Africa in Johannesburg on November 13.
The opening one-dayer is on November 20 and the Test series starts on December 16 in Centurion. - Reuters