KYLE COETZER is under no illusions; if his team play it safe in tomorrow’s one day international against England, they will not be at the races.

But that doesn’t mean that Coetzer does not believe the Scots have it in them to challenge the best one day team in the world, rather, they must take it to the English who, he admits, are a “sensational” side.

England will bring a strong team to Edinburgh to take on the Scots at the Grange and Scotland captain Coetzer knows that if his team are to cause an upset, they must not hold back.

“They’ve got some very high-quality players throughout their line-up so we’re not underestimating them whatsoever – they’re ranked number one for a reason,” the 34-year-old said.

“We believe that we have the skills to really challenge England. But we have to make sure that we get a lot right on the day.

“We need to make sure that we hit England as hard as we can, we can’t sit back and expect to get away with playing a safe style of cricket. If we think that we can play okay, put 250 on the board and then knock them out for less than that, we’re kidding ourselves.

“We know that we need to be aggressive and try to put them on the back foot. We’ll need to be aiming at upwards of 300 to be challenging them, I think. It obviously depends on whether you bat or bowl first but as a bowling unit, we’ll certainly be looking to bowl sides out.”

The Scots are in good form. They have recently risen to thirteenth in the ODI rankings and while Coetzer admits that he would have preferred slightly more match practice leading into tomorrow’s game, he is feeling confident about his team’s prospects.

“The guys are playing very well and we’re feeling good,” he said.

“It would have been nice to have had a few games leading up to this one but we’re not using that as an excuse – we’re used to having to deal with that.

“We’re confident that we have the skills within the group to perform very well. Obviously we’re up against very high quality opposition so being realistic, we’re going to have to play extremely well and they’re going to have to play mediocre for us to really push them. But that’s fine – one day cricket is such that it only takes one person to have a good day and that could give us very good opportunity to win the game.

“You have thoughts about how great it would be to win. But we mustn’t get ahead of ourselves – if we take care of what we need to on the park, we know that we’ll be challenging England in all departments.”

While a victory over England would be historic – Scotland have never beaten the Auld Enemy in an official international – it would only go some way to softening the blow of failing to qualify for next year’s World Cup.

At this year’s qualifiers in Zimbabwe, Scotland were up against the West Indies in a winner-takes-all match but rain saw the game called-off and the result decided by Duckworth-Lewis, which saw the Scots fall agonising short of World Cup spot.

It was a bitter blow for Coetzer and his team but with hindsight, the Scotland captain is able to look back on that result and take the positives.

“The guys have been playing some really good cricket and in Zimbabwe, there was only one wicket in all the games that we didn’t manage to take so that’s a pretty good illustration of how big an improvement we’ve made with the ball and our aggressive nature,” he said.

“You have to be willing to put yourself out there and to put yourself in the position to win a game of cricket, you have to be willing to lose it as well. You have to continue to push the boundaries and that is, without doubt, one of the key factors in our improvement.”

Scotland have quite a few days coming up. Following tomorrow’s match, Coetzer and his men will play the world’s top Twenty20 team, Pakistan, on Tuesday and Wednesday in a brace of T20 matches. And while Coetzer admits they could not have made things more difficult for themselves, there is no better challenge they could be faced with.

“We know it’s going to be tough,” he said

“But that’s the way to find out about the character of the players and also, it’s a great way to try to inspire some of the younger Scottish players and give them the chance to see these top quality cricketers in their country. It’s definitely going to be a special few days.”