England begin their white ball summer on Sunday when they travel across the border to take on Scotland in an ODI which should improve the profile of the home side after they failed to qualify for the World Cup next year.
Without being disrespectful to Scotland, England have much bigger fish to fry this summer with series against Australia and India on the horizon over the next few weeks so this should be a decent warm up for those battles.
It probably doesn’t mean much to them because ultimately they failed to qualify for the tournament, but Scotland put up a creditable showing in World Cup qualifying. That was largely against the lesser nations though so it would do wonders for them as a cricketing nation if they can trouble one of the big boys here.
Like many of the associate nations, the batting at this level can be competitive but where they are so often found out is with the depth with the ball and it will be interesting to see if Scotland can get stuck into this England batting line up. If they are unable to it could be a long day for them but the good thing is they have nothing to lose.
Eoin Morgan’s men go into this match as the number one ranked side in the world and they have a good chance to show why here. If they are going to dominate this format of the game and go on and win the World Cup next year then they need to show a ruthless streak and that will need to begin in this match.
The strength of this English side lies with their batting depth but it will be interesting to see how that goes here as they are missing one or two regulars for the game. While the batting usually gets the focus of attention the bowling has gone very well in 2018 especially in Australia where they contained a good batting line up.
Preston Mommsen has made himself available for Scotland in this match which should strengthen their batting depth. Brad Wheal is unavailable too but there could be a debut for George Munsey for the home side in this game.
England will be without all-rounders Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes while Eoin Morgan confirmed on the eve of the match that Alex Hales will bat at number three. Moeen Ali is back after his Test axe but Jos Buttler has been rested.
Finding bets for matches between an associate side and a full member side is never easy because there is always that doubt that the lesser nation gets blown away and while I don’t think that will happen I’m not really going to take the chance that it does so I’ll take just one bet in this match.
Kyle Coetzer has a decent record against England down the years with a couple of half centuries and I guess that springs from having faced many of their attack in his time in county cricket. He will have faced arguably the biggest early threat in David Willey plenty in the nets in their time at Northamptonshire together so I’m expecting him to go well. He had a good campaign in World Cup qualifying so over 20.5 runs looks a good thing to me.
WON – Back K.Coetzer – Over 20.5 runs for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with Ladbrokes