Johannesburg - England's tour of South Africa is going to be "huge" according to South Africa coach Mickey Arthur and he has vowed that his charges won't be caught cold as they were in the recent Champions Trophy.
Host nation South Africa failed to reach the knockout stage of the Champions Trophy, with a defeat against England putting an end to their chances.
"We were rusty going into that tournament," said Arthur. "Any series against England is huge and we want to make sure we are well prepared for our matches against them."
England, whose limited overs squad arrived in South Africa Sunday, will be up against South African players who have been playing domestic cricket and will face Zimbabwe in two one-day matches before taking on the Andrew Strauss-skippered tourists.
England will play South Africa in two Twenty20 internationals, five one-day internationals and four Tests.
Arthur admitted there may have been some justification for critics who said South Africa's predictability had contributed to their Champions Trophy downfall after going into the tournament ranked number one in the world.
"Things had worked so well for us in one-day cricket that maybe we were a bit predictable," he said. "We are looking for more flexibility against England."
The Champions Trophy came after the South Africa's first extended break in more than two years, but Arthur promised England would come up against players who were hungry and should be in top form.
All the national players with the exception of Jacques Kallis, who has a side strain, will be involved in domestic cricket before the one-day squad assembles in Johannesburg Friday.
They will play Zimbabwe on November 8 and 10, with Arthur admitting the matches had been arranged to give the South Africans a chance to play together and work on new combinations ahead of the England series.
"The Zimbabwe matches will get us playing together again as a unit and we want to go into the England series hot," said Arthur.
England flew to the central city of Bloemfontein soon after their arrival and will prepare for four days before playing 50-over matches against the Eagles and Warriors franchise teams and a 20-over match against South Africa 'A'.
The first Twenty20 international is at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on November 13.