ODI series preview: Scotland v Pakistan

News

Isolated ODIs between international big guns and associate small fries are not a common occurrence, but with the Champions Trophy looming, the deprived Scottish were happy to oblige the Pakistan Cricket Board.

Isolated ODIs between international big guns and associate small fries are not a common occurrence, but with the Champions Trophy looming, the deprived Scottish were happy to oblige the Pakistan Cricket Board.

Pakistan's preparation for the showpiece in the United Kingdom has been well planned, with training camps, contract upgrades and the appointment of former captain Wasim Akram and the less known Trent Woodhill to the coaching ranks.

This methodical setup must continue in Edinburgh, spill over into the one-dayers against Ireland in Dublin, honed in the tournament warmup fixtures and finalised before their Group B campaign gets underway in Birmingham.

The absence of Younis Khan and Shahid Afridi requires immediate justification, and the vertiable nobodies – Ehsan Adil, Umar Amin – selected in their stead couldn't ask for weaker opposition to cut their teeth against.

The Scots, under new leadership and short of international competition of late, have been resigned to mixed results in the Yorkshire Bank 40, where English counties have been quick to exploit the Saltires' several weaknesses.

The resignation of Gordon Drummond hasn't helped continuity either, and new captain Kyle Coetzer is in line for a baptism of fire. In Iain Wardlaw and Neil Carter, however, Scotland have a couple of seasoned campaigners to weather the transition, too.

This two-match affair isn't likely to bring the finest cricket, with Pakistan willing to forsake big margins in the name of experimentation – and the hosts eager to scrap for modest results.

It will, though, bring residual value – bums in seats and hence money in pocket for Scotland Cricket and the beginnings of a enough platform for Misbah-ul-Haq's Champions Trophy hopefuls.

<b>Key Men</b><br><b>Kyle Coetzer</b> is arguably Scotland's best batsman – and the added responsibility of the captaincy might see his primary role thrive, with the presence of Drummond – who has only quit the helm, not the team – sure to help the learning process.

<b>Mohammad Irfan</b> has the makings of the a real gem, fitness and adequate nurturing allowed. Some hefty hauls against batsmen unfamiliar with his pace and height would really set ignite his Champions Trophy aspirations.

<b>Only Two Head-To-Head Results</b><br>1999: World Cup, Group B: Pakistan won by 94 runs in Chester-le-Street<br>2006: One-off ODI: Pakistan won by five wickets in Edinburgh

<b>Prediction</b><br> The visitors are not likely to be troubled, perhaps only be the inclement weather, and should take this two-nil. <a href='http://www.skybet.com/cricket' target='_blank' class='instorylink'><b>Skybet</b></a>, meanwhile, have Pakistan at 7/1 in the <a href='http://www.skybet.com/cricket' target='_blank' class='instorylink'><b>cricket betting</b></a> to win the impending Champions Trophy.

<b>Squads</b><br><i>Scotland:</i> Kyle Coetzer, Preston Mommsen, Richie Berrington, Neil Carter, Freddie Coleman, Josh Davey, Gordon Drummond, Majid Haq, Moneeb Iqbal, Matt Machan, David Murphy, Rob Taylor, Iain Wardlaw.

<i>Pakistan:</i> Misbah-ul-Haq, Abdur Rehman, Asad Ali, Asad Shafiq, Ehsan Adil, Imran Farhat, Junaid Khan, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Irfan, Nasir Jamshed, Saeed Ajmal, Shoaib Malik, Umar Amin, Wahab Riaz.

<b>Fixtures</b><br>First ODI: Edinburgh, 17 May<br>Second ODI: Edinburgh, 19 May

Latest