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England wary of Scotland threat as a sell-out Grange awaits

Jake Perry @CricketScotland
June 9, 2018 4 months
England wary of Scotland threat as a sell-out Grange awaits
The two captains meet overlooking tomorrow's field of play. Picture by Donald MacLeod

Number one ranked side they may be, but England will not be underestimating the challenge posed by Kyle Coetzer’s Scotland as both teams go through their final preparations for tomorrow’s one-off ODI at The Grange. As the spectacular transformation of the ground from club to international arena nears completion, England captain Eoin Morgan anticipates a keenly contested encounter.

“It should be a really good game,” he said. “Scotland are an extremely competitive side and we’re looking forward to it.

“They are dangerous in all aspects. I don’t think one particular facet [of their team] should dominate [our thinking]. Like any good team they are well-rounded.”

The improvement in the standard of Associate cricket over the past few years has changed the complexion of matches such as this, says Morgan.

“Gone are the days where there’s any potential banana skin or anything like that,” he said. “Cricket is moving forward at a really fast rate and every other team is moving along with it.

“Every Associate nation is pretty much professional now whether they get paid or not [and] having that attitude going into each and every tournament or game makes a huge difference.

“That gives them more belief [against Test teams], and when it’s a one-off game the likelihood of making that happen makes that belief a bit more.”

For Coetzer, the match offers an opportunity for his side to play without the pressure under which they normally play.

“Pretty much all the cricket we play has something on the line,” said the Scotland captain. “Tomorrow does too, there’s rankings and a lot of pride on the line, but in terms of direct funding or our place in a World Cup or whatever, that’s not there.

“Tomorrow is all about the cricket which is great for us. These are two fantastic sides and it’s exciting to have the number one ranked team here in our backyard.

“We are really proud of how the guys represented themselves and how the team did in Zimbabwe [in the ICC World Cup Qualifier],” he continued. “I hope that the way we play our cricket was seen throughout. [Tomorrow] we’ve got to be realistic but we’re going out there with the full intention to win the game.

“Possibly in the past that [was] maybe not always felt throughout the squad, but it is now and it’s the style of cricket we want to play.”

With two formidable batting line-ups and what looks an excellent pitch, Coetzer is expecting a high-scoring game.

“The pitch is always really good at The Grange,” he said. “It generally plays very true and with the boundaries brought in slightly for the Sky cameras we expect a high-scoring game. Looking at this England side and any form of top international cricket these days we expect scores of over 300 and I’m sure it’ll be no different tomorrow.”

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