Scotland v England, Edinburgh August 14, 2008

Hamilton the key to beating England - Denness

Cricinfo staff

Gavin Hamilton: the key player for Scotland © Getty Images

Mike Denness, the former Scotland-born England captain, has pinpointed Gavin Hamilton as the crucial player ahead of Scotland's eagerly anticipated clash against England at Edinburgh on Monday.

"England haven't climbed the pecking order in one-day cricket (sixth) as much as they have in Tests (fifth) since goals were set in 2000 while the Scots have, in Gavin Hamilton, someone with a lot to offer," Denness told The Scotsman. "Also, they won't have to contend with Paul Collingwood on Monday because he is suspended."

Hamilton went on an England tour of South Africa but was out of his depth in the one Test in which he played. Denness insists, however, that his performance for England was not wholly representative of the talent Hamilton possesses.

"Gavin was probably not handled very well when he went to South Africa with England and that whole period possibly set him back because he'd gone on the back of such a great summer," Denness said. "But that still amounts to tremendous experience shared by comparatively few.

"For example even those who don't say very much when first in a Test dressing room absorb a lot which can be later passed on.

"He'll have more insight than anybody else in the Scotland team about how England will be approaching Monday's game. As for England, maybe nobody will yet be able to work out exactly what Kevin Pietersen is planning. It is the case they have had their ups and downs in one-day cricket and haven't developed into one of the forces yet."