NASSER HUSSAIN: Scotland defeat a perfect wake-up call for England ahead of Australia

A perfect wake-up call for England with defeat by Scotland on the eve of ODI series with Australia

  • England were shocked by Scotland who surged to ODI victory in Edinburgh 
  • A stunning century from Calum MacLeod helped the Scots on their way to win 
  • It may just well be the perfect wake up call England needed right now
  • A huge One Day International series against Australia is coming up

England may not feel this way right now, but that was a great game of cricket and a wonderful occasion. And it may just be the wake-up call they needed.

Eoin Morgan’s team recently went top of the rankings, and this was a reminder – ahead of a big series against Australia – that cricket has a funny way of biting you on the backside.

Yes, they would rather have won – and that result will go down as the greatest in Scotland’s history. 

Defeat to Scotland in Edinburgh may well be the perfect wake-up call England needed

But it’s not the end of the world, and it’s certainly not in the category of losing to Ireland at the 2011 World Cup, or to the Netherlands at a couple of World Twenty20s.

Games where you get put under pressure are no bad thing, but England need to be careful they don’t keep making bad decisions in these kinds of matches. 

Think of the 2016 World T20 final, or the Champions Trophy semi-final against Pakistan last year.

Morgan obviously decided he wanted a look at his frontline attack, which meant he didn’t bowl Joe Root, but it goes to show how crucial Ben Stokes is. 

Scotland claimed arguably their greatest day in cricket as they edged England in a thrilling ODI

Scotland's Safyaan Sharif celebrates after taking the final wicket as Scotland win by six runs

Scotland’s Safyaan Sharif celebrates after taking the final wicket as Scotland win by six runs

When he comes back, one of the top three probably has to miss out, and Alex Hales is the most vulnerable.

Then there’s Mark Wood, who worries me a bit. A couple of years ago, he was topping 90mph, which meant it didn’t matter that he was gun-barrel straight. But that becomes a problem if you drop into the high-80mphs, as Wood did here.

There’s no need to over-react to one defeat. Scotland were superb and deserve a day like that after the pain of missing out on World Cup qualification. 

But England should take stock and remember that they need to stay ahead of the curve with the World Cup only a year away.