Low-key start to World Cup preparation
Match factsJune 19, 2010
Start time 10.45am (9.45GMT)
Over recent years ODI series were routinely treated as the unwanted step-sister in an English summer. Whether tagged on to the end of a Test series - like the drab 6-1 thrashing after the Ashes last year - or stuck in the middle of the summer, too frequently England's one-day cricket was something to endure rather than enjoy. Then came the World Twenty20.
England's gung-ho approach, honed through the winter, came to perfect fruition as they bashed their way to their first success in an ICC tournament. While Scotland may be a low-profile opening to England's 14 ODI games over the next three and half months, the prospect of five pre-Ashes matches against Australia to follow has made each contest suddenly enthralling. From here on every move will be dissected and imbued unfairly with Ashes, and more significantly, World Cup significance.
It brings a welcome context to what Scotland will hope is a competitive tussle. For the Edinburgh crowd though, any sort of game would be a relief. Two years ago when the teams met for the first time rain was the ultimate victor, leaving England 10 for 0 chasing 156 in a reduced-overs fixture.
Since then Scotland have had a tough run. They failed to qualify for the 2011 World Cup after losing to Ireland, Canada, and Afghanistan in the qualifying tournament in 2009 and disappointed again by missing out on a place at the World Twenty20, losing all their matches to finish bottom of Group A in the qualifiers.
Things, however, have improved elsewhere. They sit on top of the table, ahead of even Afghanistan, in the Intercontinental Cup, having just beaten Netherlands (though they narrowly lost the following ODI) and they will be keen to get one over their neighbours on home turf.
Form guide (last five completed matches)
Watch out for...
Kyle Coetzer has sat on the sidelines for Durham in the Clydesdale Bank 40 this season and will want to prove that he can carry his first-class form into the limited-overs arena. He could be the anchor Scotland needs to build a score around.
Andrew Strauss returns to England's one-day side as captain and opener. In his absence England profited and he needs to prove that his brand of calm strokeplay has a place in the team's new testosterone-fuelled approach.
Scotland captain Gavin Hamilton will return alongside Coetzer after they were forced out with injury leaving Scotland to field four debutants in the defeat to Netherlands on June 15.
Scotland (possible) 1 Gavin Hamilton (capt), 2 Josh Davey, 3 Kyle Coetzer, 4 Richie Berrington, 5 Gregor Maiden, 6 Neil McCallum, 7 Douglas Lockhart (wk), 8 Matthew Parker, 9 Gordon Drummond, 10 Majid Haq, 11 Ross Lyons.
England have been experimenting against weaker opposition in the Test series against Bangladesh earlier this summer and their team could be dictated by how much they want to experiment again here. The top-order batting is settled but Ian Bell is back in the squad and could play if England feel Luke Wright is a place too high at six. The only other question is whether they opt for the extra spinner in Michael Yardy, and if not Ajmal Shahzad could be in the frame for a home ODI debut to add to his first cap he earned in Bangladesh.
England (possible) 1 Andrew Strauss (capt), 2 Craig Kieswetter (wk), 3 Kevin Pietersen, 4 Paul Collingwood, 5 Eoin Morgan, 6 Luke Wright, 7 Tim Bresnan, 8 Graeme Swann, 9 Stuart Broad, 10 Ajmal Shahzad, 11 James Anderson.
Pitch and conditions
The weather is rarely better than chilly in Edinburgh but the pitch could offer some runs if the new-ball threat is nullified.
Stats and Trivia
- Hamilton, Coetzer, Neil McCallum and Ross Lyons are the only four survivors from the Scotland team that played the inaugural match against England two years ago.
- Craig Kieswetter will take the gloves for the first time in an ODI after playing as a specialist batsman in his first three ODIs against Bangladesh.
"It's always a challenge every time you play against sides like Scotland, as we found out in the World Twenty20 against Ireland"
Luke Wright is wary of the Celtic threat
Sahil Dutta is assistant editor of Cricinfo