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With ICC Cricket World Cup set to be played in less than a month's time, Scotland is set to get its share of Cricket. Afghanistan's Cricket team has arrived in Scotland to play a two-match series beginning on 8th May at The Grange Edinburgh. While Scotland did not qualify for the mega ICC event, they have plenty to play for in the two upcoming matches. They'll be looking to upset Afghanistan, who qualified for the World Cup, and showcase that there is not much to choose between the sides.
It's been a lot of time since Scotland last played a One Day International and there couldn't have been a happier moment for the Scottish side at that time. They defeated the World No.1 English side and while not a lot has changed since then, it won't be easy to repeat the same feat.
One thing going for Scotland will be the conditions which are by and large conducive to quick bowling. They have a bowling lineup that will suit the surface and weather which is definitely a big advantage to have when the other side is not so experienced.
They have an experienced unit with skipper Kyle Coetzer having plenty of domestic experience up his sleeve. The likes of Matt Cross, Calum Macleod, and Richie Berrington have slowly but surely developed a reputation of being more than capable with the bat. While there is a lot of disparity between the rankings of the two sides, Scotland will not be an easy side to defeat, especially at home.
Playing 11 not yet available.
For Afghanistan, this series will be all about getting their combination right and get acquainted with the conditions here which will be similar to those they are going to encounter during the World Cup.
They will be playing under the new leadership of Gulbadin Naib who took control of the teams from the hands of veteran Asghar Afghan. The former captain is still in the team, though, and will be playing his 100th ODI on Wednesday. He is coming off a good run of form with three fifties in his last three ODI innings and continues to be a vital cog in this rather inexperienced Afghanistan side.
Without a doubt, the reason for Afghanistan's resurgence has been because of their spin bowling attack. It will be interesting to see how the Afghanistan bowling lineup fares without the likes of Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan who are out in India playing IPL. With Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi being a part of most of their matches over the years, there will definitely be a huge void to fill.
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Had it been favorable conditions and a full-strength Afghanistan playing on Wednesday, they would have been clear favorites. The absence of Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi has left the visitors a little vulnerable in both departments. Also, Scotland are well-versed in playing in these conditions which will certainly not be easy for Afghanistan to get acquainted with. Considering those reasons, we think that Scotland are better placed to emerge on top in the upcoming encounter.
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