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Eoin Morgan expecting tough test as England prepare to face Scotland in ODI

England will take on Scotland for the first time in three years at the Grange.

England captain Eoin Morgan insists they cannot take Scotland lightly as they begin their white-ball summer in Edinburgh.

Preparations for next summer’s World Cup continue with a seven-week block of limited overs fixtures.

Before they host Australia and India in both one-day international and Twenty20 matches, England will take on Scotland for the first time in three years at the Grange.

The Saltires go into the game on the back of frustration in the World Cup Qualifiers, when they were cruelly denied entry to next year’s competition, but despite their standing as an Associate Nation, Morgan is aware of the threats they could pose his side despite their standing as the number one side in one-day cricket.

“It should be a really good game,” the Middlesex batsman said. “We haven’t played Scotland for quite a while.

“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.”

He added: “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.”

England go into the game without three key players in Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes, with the latter two nursing injuries and Buttler rested, while Morgan only recently returned from injury with a century for his county earlier in the week.

Sam Billings is set to take the gloves for England despite Test keeper Jonny Bairstow’s presence at the top of the order, while Alex Hales will come back into the side to replace Stokes and reclaim his position at number three, where he enjoyed some success over the winter.

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Chris Woakes is unavailable due to injury (Jason O’Brien/PA)

Stokes and Woakes are still expected to play some part in the upcoming five-match series against Australia but Morgan is pleased with the competition for places in the squad with less than a year to go until the World Cup.

On Hales, he said: “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.”

On Billings, he added: “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 he IPL and the Big Bash and done very well and progressed his cricket.”

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