England hit a new low on eve of Aussie series
ENGLAND captain Eoin Morgan moved quickly to dismiss any notion his side was an easier target for Australia this week after an historic loss to cricketing minnow Scotland in Edinburgh.
The hosts celebrated wildly after bowling out England, the number one team in one-day cricket, for 365 to post a famous six run victory.
It was Scotland's first ever win over its southern rivals and came after the Scottish batsmen belted Morgan's bowlers to record 5-371 batting first.
That total was the fourth highest ever conceded by England, and sent critics of next year's World Cup being reduced to 10 teams in to a spin given Scotland were unable to qualify.
But more immediately the win cast some doubt over England's overwhelming favouritism for the five-match series against an inexperienced Australian outfit, which begins at The Oval on Wednesday.
Morgan however said the result, which came on a batter friendly pitch with short boundaries making for big totals, was not the "end of the world" given it was, for England, just a warm-up with his bowlers all coming out county cricket.
"A one-off game like this, to bring your best game is very difficult to do, they played well and deserved the result," he said.
"It's not the end of the world for us, it was a really good run out and good to have a practice coming into the series against Australia.
"I think we were a little bit rusty, we missed our lines a little bit but it's our first time back, we only got together yesterday (Saturday).
"That's not an excuse, it's just the reality. Getting into a highly competitive game like today is not an easy thing but we'll be better for the run-out today and better for the pressure we've been under."
"The level of expectation has been high around the team for a while, it doesn't get higher than being number one in the world. I don't think we were far away, we go to a ground now that we know really well in The Oval, and we'll be up for the challenge."
England overpowered Australia 4-1 in the series played in Australia in January and were roundly expected to roll through the new look team which is minus suspended stars Steve Smith and David Warner, plus first choice bowlers Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins.
Despite the loss, England still posted 365 which makes Australia's two totals in warm-up game wins, of 277 and then 283, look sub-standard.
But Australia did play a batsman short in the second warm-up game at Lords and the expectation is Marcus Stoinis, who scored a powerful century in the opening match before being rested, will come back in for Wednesday's game and coach Justin Langer will leave a bowler out.
Australia has won just two of its past 10 ODI clashes with England, and hasn't beaten the home side at The Oval since 2010.
OTHER STUNNING ENGLAND DEFEATS
2009, Lord's, World Twenty20: The Netherlands beat England by four wickets 'The Home of Cricket' has witnessed a number of low points for England but few quite like this.
The opening match of the World 2009 Twenty20 saw England held to a total of 162. Tim de Grooth's quickfire 49 off 30 balls kept the Dutch, who hit four sixes compared to England's none, up with the rate.
Yet England could have stolen victory right at the end The last delivery of the match saw Netherlands number eight Edgar Schiferli hit the ball straight back to Broad, who missed with a wild shy at the stumps missed and allowed the Dutch to claim victory on an extra run following the overthrow.
2011, Bangalore, World Cup: Ireland beat England by three wickets Kevin O'Brien hit the fastest-ever World Cup hundred, off just 50 balls, with his overall innings of 113 laying the platform for Ireland -- then a non-Test nation -- to chase down a target of 328 after they had been in dire straits at 111 for five.
2014, Chittagong, World Twenty20: The Netherlands beat England by 45 runs Another Dutch debacle saw it all go horribly wrong for England in Chittagong. Previous results meant they already had no chance of going further in the tournament but, if anything, this was worse than the loss at Lord's as the Dutch played like seasoned professionals and England part-timers.
Replying to the Netherlands' 133, Stuart Broad's side collapsed to 88 all out with their 45-run loss a huge margin of defeat in a Twenty20 match.
2015, Adelaide, World Cup: Bangladesh beat England by 15 runs Another miserable World Cup campaign for England saw them knocked out by a Bangladesh side who, up until that point, had been regarded largely as whipping boys for established nations in matches played outside the sub-continent.
By the standards of one-day cricket, this was not even an especially close match with England falling short of a seemingly attainable target of 276 after Mahmudullah had scored Bangladesh's first-ever World Cup hundred.