Scotland and Australia A prepare
From Cricket Scotland
Preston Mommsen will captain the Scotland side entertaining an Australian “A” touring team at The Grange, starting this Friday, as part of the build-up to the Intercontinental Cup match against Kenya in July.
With the Kenya match a month away, the squad’s attention turns to honing their skills in the longer format of the game with a fixture against some of Australia’s premier talent.
Speaking on the eve of the match, Mommsen outlined the importance of this match with Kenya in mind:
“Our focus at the moment is ODI’s and qualifying for 50 over and T20 world cup, but in terms of game development and personal development this can do huge amounts for us…This will be a massive stepping stone in the right direction.”
The selectors have named a strong but youthful side for the 4 day encounter which commences at 11am on Friday.
Scotland are missing Captain Kyle Coetzer, David Murphy and Rob Taylor due to commitments to their respective county sides.
“We are missing a couple of key players, which opens the door for our youngsters to come in and play against top class opposition.” Mommsen stated.
Seam bowler Gordon Goudie, who took his best ODI figures of 5-73 in the game against the Australians in 2009, will also be chomping at the bit to test his skills against some world class batsmen.
Speaking at a press conference today at the Grange, Brad Haddin was quick to point out that their focus just now is on the game against Scotland:
“The Ashes squad has been picked and that’s a long way away. The guys are in a preparation stage now to get ready, but my focus with this group is that we want to win this game and win it well.”
Seamer Ryan Harris is named in the 13 man squad for the weekend, whilst previous cap Usman Khawaja hasn’t played a Test match since the 2010/11 Ashes series.
The side also includes a number of proven match winners, with pace merchant Peter Siddle coming off the back of a successful series against India, and Vice-captain Steven Smith returning from a successful period at the Indian Premier League.
The match is set up to be an intriguing encounter, with Scotland looking to prove themselves against a strong Australian side, and prepare well before taking on Kenya in a months’ time, as Mommsen points out:
“It’s uncharted territory for Scottish cricket to have this kind of fixture…it’s a massive platform and a massive stage. Good performances here won’t go unnoticed.”