Scotland are an extremely competitive side: Eoin Morgan
LONDON (92 News) – Eoin Morgan has urged his England teammates to not take Scotland lightly when the two sides meet in a one-off one-day international in Edinburgh on Sunday 10 June.
England, the No.1 side on the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings, will kick off their summer with the Scotland game in front of a capacity crowd at Grange Cricket Club.
This the first time that England are facing Scotland in a 50-over game in more than three years and Morgan expected the game to be hard fought.
“It should be a really good game,” the England captain said. “We haven’t played Scotland for quite a while. I think gone are the days when there are any potential banana skins or anything like that. Cricket is moving forward at a fast rate and every team is moving forward with you, so I’d expect it to be very competitive.
“We watched them play in the qualifying tournament for the 50-over World Cup next year, which was an extremely competitive tournament and I don’t think there was a lot between the teams, so qualifying was difficult. It gives Scotland a lot more exposure and the days of not knowing who you are going to play against are gone. They are an extremely competitive side and we are looking forward to it.”
England’s red-ball form over the past few months has been a cause for concern but they still remain the team to beat as far as the 50-over format is concerned. The one-off ODI will give them a chance to brush off any cobwebs before the important five-match ODI series against Australia which starts from 13 June.
The game against Scotland also provides England a chance to test some of their bench strength. Without the services of Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes, who are out injured, and Jos Buttler, who has been rested, the likes of Sam Billings have a chance to stake a claim.
Another player who has received the backing of the skipper is Alex Hales, who recently lost his opening spot to Jonny Bairstow. “Alex is playing. He will bat at three,” confirmed Morgan. “He batted well at three for us in Australia and he came in the deciding game in Christchurch in New Zealand when Jason (Roy) went down and did exceptionally well. There is a huge competition for places and we are very lucky.
“I think the batting decision is always difficult and we are spoilt with three keepers and they are all unbelievable batsmen. Jonny has been in great form, Jos is world class and Sam is trying to get into the side. It is tough. It is a good opportunity for Sam, he has been away at the IPL (Indian Premier League) and the Big Bash (League) and done very well and progressed his cricket.”