Scotland v Australia, Only ODI, Edinburgh September 2, 2013

A warm-up for different reasons


Match facts

September 3, Edinburgh
Start time 1045 (0945 GMT)

Big Picture

Scotland haven't been able to develop a compelling case for more top level cricket, as Ireland have, and as such, their appearances against the big boys of world cricket don't carry the same "point-to-prove" status. So there should be no ramifications for labelling this fixture an Australian warm-up for the NatWest series against England.

Australia need to regain credibility in ODIs. They were roundly written off for the Champions Trophy, thumped by England in their opening match and never realistically threatened the semi-finals. A 3-0 Ashes defeat will have done nothing for their confidence but Ashes losers have recently found solace in the one-dayers that follow. A confidence-boosting defeat of the Scots will gee Australia up nicely.

So will a longer memory. In February Australia shrugged off a West Indies side high on their World T20 success which, before last week's win in the Twenty20 at the Ageas Bowl, was their previous taste of any victory. They can certainly play in their home conditions; a factor which will shorten their odds for the 2015 World Cup. And unless something quite remarkable happens, they should cast Scotland aside.

That said, Pakistan were given a scare north of the border back in May and when Scotland can select their first XI, they are a useful side - currently lying joint third in the World Cricket League Championship with two games in hand on second-placed Netherlands. Their posse of county cricketers return for this match although captain Kyle Coetzer is ruled out with a wrist injury.

Coezter could also miss the three World Cricket League Championship matches against Ireland which follow this fixture; crucial matches in Scotland's quest to qualify for the 2015 World Cup. So you could say, Scotland are treating the Australians as practise opponents too.

Form guide

(completed matches, most recent first)

Scotland WWLLL
Australia LLWWW

Players to watch

Without Coezter, a huge hole is left in the Scotland batting line-up but a player who can take up the slack is Matt Machan. At 22, Machan could be a Scottish international for some time and hinted at what he could become with 114 against Kenya in June. His recent form for Sussex is also healthy with two half-centuries in the final two Yorkshire Bank 40 matches - form which saw him called up to the four-day side last week.

Matthew Wade was billed - predictably - as the new Adam Gilchrist when he first appeared and when he took the gloves in the Test side, looked set in as Australia's No. 1 wicketkeeper. But Brad Haddin wasn't seen off and he confirmed his status as Australia's best gloveman in the Ashes. Haddin also has his sights set on the 2015 World Cup, so Wade needs performances to deter the selectors from going back to the tried and tested.

Team news

Coetzer's absence leaves Scotland searching for another opening batsman. Hamish Gardiner, Australian-born to a Scottish mother, is set to take Coezter's place and make his international debut. Neil Carter is also unavailable due to work commitments. Preston Mommsen takes over the captaincy from Coezter.

Scotland (possible) 1 Hamish Gardiner, 2 Freddie Coleman, 3 Richie Berrington, 4 Matt Machan, 5 Preston Mommsen (capt), 6 David Murphy (wkt), 7 Rob Taylor, 8 Majid Haq, 9 Gordon Goudie, 10 Iain Wardlaw, 11 Gordon Drummond

Australia's squad is trimmed to 15 for the ODIs with David Warner, Mitchell Starc and Steven Smith leaving the tour. Warner's absence means Shane Watson is likely to open the batting and creates an issue at No. 3. Shaun Marsh could play or perhaps Wade will be given another chance up the order. Michael Clarke could probably use an innings having not played for a week and it's a good chance to have another look at Fawad Ahmed.

Australia (possible) 1 Shane Watson, 2 Aaron Finch, 3 Shaun Marsh, 4 Michael Clarke (capt), 5 George Bailey, 6 Adam Voges, 7 Matthew Wade (wkt), 8 James Faulkner, 9 Mitchell Johnson, 10 Fawad Ahmed, 11 Clint McKay

Pitch and conditions

The ODI which survived the weather against Pakistan produced a low-scoring match with wickets tumbling early in both innings. That was the last major match to be played on this ground. No rain is forecast and conditions should be warm and sunny.

Stats and trivia

  • Scotland's cricketers arguably created the finest piece of Scottish sporting history with victory of Australia in 1882.

  • The only time Australia have visited Scotland for an ODI was in 2009 when they triumphed by 189 runs.

  • In addition the sides met at both the 1999 and 2007 World Cups with both fixtures somewhat one-sided with six wicket and 203-run victories.


"They are still a relatively new unit, with some pretty young players, and they don't know each other 100%, so this is probably a good time to be taking them on."
Scotland's stand-in captain Preston Mommsen picks his moment to play Australia.

"We will do a little bit of homework on Scotland. We certainly won't be coming in blind - that's when trouble can occur.''
Matthew Wade recognises how not completing homework can cause issues.

Alex Winter is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • James on September 3, 2013, 13:09 GMT

    @Thebigboodha, he did well in south africa in their oneday games for Australia A. Same with Marsh, so they WERE picked on form. Take nothing away from them, they are proving it too in this game, both got 150's or there abouts.

    Warner IS out of form, It's wierd to drop him now after they picked him before but the truth is he hasn't been hitting them out of the middle for a while, he was averaging about 20 over the last year of odi's and his test average is plummeting after being in the mid fourties. In fact, i think he has lost his hitting ability as well, he has reigned his game in for tests but he can't do what Finch is doing these days anymore.

  • James on September 3, 2013, 12:08 GMT

    Agreed Hughes should be in all short format games. His record is exceptional in 20 and 50 over cricket. Marsh? Like Finch, he should not be there ahead of Warner. How can you drop Warner saying his ODI recent form is bad when he has hardly played any 50 over cricket in the past 6 months? Like Finch's 15 average is more impressive? Nothing against Finch, and he is creaming it this game. But on form in ODIs he shouldn't be there.

  • Dummy4 on September 3, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    What on earth does phil Hughes need to do? Man I feel sorry for that kid..

  • Dummy4 on September 3, 2013, 9:55 GMT

    Popcorn you have got to be kidding on sending Watson home. He is a one-day/t20 specialist if ever there was one.

  • Rajaram on September 3, 2013, 4:27 GMT

    Why,oh,Why, are Clarke and Watson not back in Australia? Why can't CA take the cue from England who have rested their key players for the forthcoming Ashes? The rest are ODI and T20 specialists, so they can stay on. Johnson needs a bowl -but he need not go to India for a meaningless series. Better be back for Shield Cricket if he wants to be counted for the Ashes Squad.

  • Richard on September 3, 2013, 3:47 GMT

    Should be a bit of fun for both sides, although I think the Scots should have to play in kilts. Seriously though, games like this are just the sort of thing the smaller teams look to as a means of making a statement, and it would be foolish for we Aussies to treat it as anything other than a full dress rehearsal for the England ODIs. A hard nosed people like the Scots would expect nothing less from us.

  • Brenton on September 3, 2013, 2:20 GMT

    What about Phil Hughes? He scored two centuries and an 86 in his first 10 ODI. Averaged 80 last Ryobi Cup, he's scoring piles runs in all cricket, yet players such as Shaun Marsh may get selected ahead of him? What does Hughes have to do?

  • John on September 3, 2013, 1:06 GMT

    It has to be said that this isn't a very strong Scottish squad so I'm not sure how much Australia will learn from this match. Maybe Aus will take them too lightly and the Scottish lads will....

    No, I don't think so. But it's great that the Scottish players will one day be able to tell their grandchildren they played against the Aussies. Good luck to both sides.

  • Warks on September 3, 2013, 0:47 GMT

    Does anyone remember an Aus vs Scotland game from about 1981 where Rod Marsh bowled and almost took a hat trick? Or is my memory failing me? I can't find any reference to this game.

  • David on September 2, 2013, 23:30 GMT

    I assume Hughes will be playing.

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