Australia Tour of Scotland 2013: Loss of Kyle Coetzer Is a Huge Blow for Hosts

Aidan ReynoldsContributor IIISeptember 2, 2013

The loss of Kyle Coetzer deprives Scotland of their strongest player.
The loss of Kyle Coetzer deprives Scotland of their strongest player.Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

The news that Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer will miss Tuesday's clash with Australia is a bitter blow for his side. If Scotland were to carry out a famous upset in the one-day international in Edinburgh, Coetzer would need to be at the centre of it.

Vice-captain Preston Mommsen will take over as captain at The Grange, while Coetzer's replacement in the side is yet to be named. 

A nice story would be for Australian-born Hamish Gardiner to make his debut against the visiting nation. Freddie Coleman could also get his first start after recently breaking into the Warwickshire squad. However, neither of those players would compensate for the loss of Coetzer.

In June, when batting for Northamptonshire, Coetzer took Leicestershire's bowling to pieces on his way to 219. This effort is made all the more impressive by the fact that he had to finish the previous day on 156 and then come back to resume his innings the following morning.

Scottish batsmen in first-class cricket are rarer than you might think. Ones who make double-hundreds are an even more select group. The loss of such a player for an ODI against Australia is devastating.

Coetzer is generally regarded as one of the best batsmen Scotland have produced in the last decade. His wide range of strokes means he is difficult to pin down. Equally strong off the back or front foot, he can either bat a lengthy innings to save a game or elevate the run-rate with big hitting to ensure a solid first-innings score.

He hasn't been captain of Scotland for long, taking over the mantle in May when Gordon Drummond retired. However, he made an impact for his side long before that.

In 2009, during a World Twenty20 contest with South Africa, Coetzer took a catch on the boundary that ranks as one of the best ever seen in the game.

Australia will be looking to dominate Scotland from the moment the first ball is bowled, so good fielding will be required from the Saltires in order for them to keep the game close.

While not the strongest bowler in the side, Coetzer's medium pace also offers another wrinkle to a game where Scotland should look to rotate bowlers wherever possible.

We saw what Aaron Finch did to England in the first T20 game, so it's essential to keep the Aussies guessing and never let the bowling become predictable. Stuart Broad kept himself and Steven Finn on too long, allowing Finch and the Australians to get comfortable on a good pitch and throw the bat at length balls.

Scotland need every advantage they can get in Edinburgh on Tuesday. The loss of Coetzer just robbed them of at least three.