England are going to have to improve significantly if they are to win the Women's World T20, Mark Robinson believes. Despite winning the Women's World Cup only a few months ago, the England coach admitted his side's T20 cricket is not at the same level.
Part of the issue, he believes, is simply that they do not play enough. England went into their Ashes T20 matches having not played international T20 for nearly 18 months (from July 2016 to November 2017) and, as a consequence, are unsure of their best side or tactics. Clearly, however, they are looking for more pace from their bowlers and more power from their hitters ahead of the tournament in the Caribbean in November.
"We have to address some areas we haven't done very well in T20," Robinson said as he looked ahead to England's T20 tri-series against India and Australia in India. "We've looked at the Big Bash and the Super League to see how our players do. And our batters don't come out of it with big numbers.
"I watch the Super League and the Big Bash and the overseas players are dominating a bit. I don't want that. I want our players to dominate. I'm challenging my players to dominate. We know we need to win big moments and Powerplays.
"We've got to look to improve that. What we're doing at the moment isn't going to win you a World Cup. And we have to change that."
In the long-term, Robinson believes the standard of England's fast bowling must improve. The game around the world, he feels, is disproportionately dominated by what he refers to as "dobbers" but, as the standard of pitches improves, he feels greater skills will be required.
"At the moment our game is being dominated by dobbers," he said. "Not spinners but slow bowlers. The women's game is a trial by spin. The standard of fast bowling is not good enough in world cricket. If the wickets improve like they have been then they - the bowlers - are going to have to get better.
"The ability to bowl the wide yorkers and the ability to bowl the bouncer is really important. You are going to want to have impact bowlers. New Zealand have Lea Tahuhu and South Africa have Shabnim Ismail and they are really important on good wickets as they can grab you a wicket.
"That's one thing that is starting to change now. The bowlers have to fight back - not dumb down - and get better and not be bossed all over the place like we were in the last two Ashes games."
One advantage enjoyed by England's men but not extended to the women was the erection of a tent at Loughborough enabling players to practise on grass ahead of the tour. "The tent is put up for the men," Robinson said. "We don't get that luxury unfortunately. Maybe in a few years' time we will."