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Scotland v England talking points

Sides meet on Sunday.

England begin their limited-overs summer with a one-off one-day international against Scotland in Edinburgh on Sunday.

Here, Press Association Sport highlights some talking points ahead of the match at the Grange.

Twelve-month countdown

With just 355 days to go until the start of the 2019 World Cup, preparations for the tournament are set to really kick up a notch. Sunday’s fixture against Scotland at the Grange marks the first one-day international of the summer and having attained number-one status in the world rankings, all eyes will be on England to show that they are still a team on the up and have not peaked over the winter. All the signs are that Eoin Morgan’s team are maturing and still improving.

A test of England’s strength in depth

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Tom Curran will be hoping to make his mark for England (Jason O’Brien/PA)

There have been a recognised regulars from the England side either rested or injured. Jos Buttler has a break, offering Sam Billings another chance to impress, but it is the injuries to Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes that will have the England management concerned. Both players featured in the Indian Premier League and for a second successive year have suffered injuries shortly after returning. With them being such integral parts of the 50-over side, there will be concerns over their involvement next year but it does offer opportunities for England to give their fringe players – such as Tom Curran and Jake Ball – another chance to impress.

Eoin Morgan’s fitness

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Eoin Morgan scored a hundred in the week (Robert Perry/PA)

The England skipper has not had the start to the season he would have wanted after making himself available for Middlesex in all formats. He has suffered two finger injuries and was a doubt for the start of the one-day international summer when the squad was announced, but proved his fitness with a quickfire century for his county during the week. England will need their skipper to be fully over his problems if they are to start the series in the manner they would like.

White-ball teams must deliver

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Joe Root’s Test team have struggled over recent months (Jason O’Brien/PA)

The pressure has been on the England Test team so far this summer – the consequence of a poor winter (and a heavy defeat to Pakistan in May) and some inconsistent results under Trevor Bayliss. It has felt to many for some time that the priority has been next year’s World Cup, and the pressure is on for the team to keep up their excellent white-ball form, which has proved a strong point under Bayliss. A drop off in results this summer could see pressure on the Australian ramp up.

Scotland with a point to prove

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Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer and his players will have a point to prove (Robert Perry/PA)

It should not be forgotten that while it should be a fairly routine victory for England, Scotland have a lot to prove to world cricket after their exit from the World Cup Qualifiers. The Saltires have been one of the Associate Nations directly hit by the reduction in teams at the tournament next year, which has left some questioning the International Cricket Council’s priorities. A win, or even a good showing against the number one-ranked side in ODI cricket, would prove that Scotland are worthy of more regular exposure at this level.

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