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Cook wary of Scotland 'banana skin'

England captain Alastair Cook will not be under-estimating Scotland in the Royal London one-day international at Aberdeen.

Cook has described the fixture as a potential “banana skin” for his side in their first international under new Head Coach Peter Moores.

While Cook expects his side will come out victorious should they play to their potential, he is wary of a Scotland side that enjoyed a productive winter as they qualified for next year’s World Cup.

"If we play well, we will be very hard to beat,” Cook said.

"But it is a banana-skin fixture - and if a couple of their guys have good days, they can put us under pressure.

"Of course, it is new territory and things will take time to settle down. But things have gone well so far.

“They (Scotland) are in a great position; they have nothing to lose and they've got some talent. So they'll come out giving it their all. We won't be under-estimating them."

England skipper Alastair Cook is not about to take Scotland lightly in the first game under new Head Coach Peter Moores

England were beaten by an associate nation in their most recent fixture, when losing to Netherlands to end their World Twenty20 campaign at the end of March.

Cook was not a part of that side, but expects the players who were will be driven not to suffer a similar fate.

"I'm sure the guys who went through that experience won't want to go through that again,” he said. "We've got to back our ability.”

Since the World Twenty20, a new era has been heralded following Moores’ appointment as Head Coach.

The 51-year-old, who helped Lancashire to the LV= County Championship title in 2011, returns to lead England for the second time.

Cook admits his arrival has offered a renewed sense as England look to move on from a chastening winter.

"It feels like a fresh start, which happens when you have a new coach and some new players," Cook added.

"It does have that vibe, and it's a good place to be.

"We haven't been tested under pressure yet, but over the next 24 hours we will be."

Cook wants his players to accept the responsibility of playing for England with a smile on their faces during the summer

England could hand a debut to left-armer Harry Gurney, who has already admitted it would be the best day of his life should he be given the nod.

That enthusiasm is likely to be welcomed by his skipper, who has admitted pride in the England shirt is an important value ahead of the summer.

"You have to remember how lucky we are to wear the shirt and play for our country," Cook said.

"Sometimes after a long period away, you are away from home and have done it for a while, you maybe forget that.

"Last winter is probably a reminder of that. When you lose games of cricket it becomes very hard to do.

"We've all had bit of time away from the game, a good time to reflect and realise how special it is to be playing for England.

"We have to remember that at all times, and a certain responsibility comes with that."

Cook believes his players must also accept that responsibility with a smile on their faces, adding: "Enjoyment has to be up there.

"Chatting to a few of the guys who are no longer playing, they say it's the best days of your life - even in tough times."

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