Scotland have been one of the inspirational associate-turned-giant killers story waiting to happen for a while now and the upcoming T20 World Cup presents them a wonderful opportunity to make a statement.
The leading European associate team have been crying out for more game time against quality oppositions and here is their great chance to play the best in the world at the biggest stage.
But to earn that opportunity through the Super 12s, they’ll have to first lock horns with and beat two of their strongest associate rivals and a lower-ranked full-member in the preliminary round.
Considered one of the favourites to progress from Group B at the preliminary round, Scotland will be taking on Bangladesh (October 17), Papua New Guinea (Oct 19) and Oman (Oct 21) in Al Amerat.
Captain: Kyle Coetzer
Head coach: Shane Burger
Claim To Fame: First round (2007, 2009 and 2016)
Scotlans Squad for T20 World Cup 2021
Kyle Coetzer (c), Richie Berrington (vc), Dylan Budge, Matthew Cross (wk), Josh Davey, Alasdair Evans, Chris Greaves, Oli Hairs, Michael Leask, Calum Macleod, George Munsey, Safyaan Sharif, Chris Sole, Hamza Tahir, Craig Wallace (wk), Mark Watt, Brad Wheal
Strengths: Nice mix of youth and experience and a batting unit not short of depth and range. Coetzer, Berrington lead from the front in this regard. Matthew Cross is another of Scotland’s brightest batters awaiting a platform to showcase his class and ability. Macleod, Safyaan Sharif and Evans are some of the other experienced cricketers part of the group.
Area of Concern: Bowling. While Scotland have been one of the strongest associate batting line-ups in T20Is since the end of the last T20 World Cup, their bowling hasn’t always matched that level. Scotland have scored 8.42 runs per over with an average of 28.27 since the 2016 T20 World Cup but they also have a slightly expensive economy rate of 8.12 in this period. Considering that their batting may not always be able to cover up for their bowling flaws in alien conditions in UAE, Scotland need their pacers and spinners to up their game.
Key Scotland Players
1. Richie Berrington
Berrington, the vice-captain, has also been Scotland’s best batter in the five-year period from the end of the 2016 T20 World Cup. In this elongated phase, Berrington has averaged 46.35 in T20Is while maintaining a strike-rate of 136.12. The 34-year-old right-hand batter’s tally includes five half-centuries, which is bettered by only one other Scottish player in this period.
2. George Munsey
That player to have record more fifties than even Berrington is Munsey, who has struck 928 runs from 30 T20Is since the end of the last T20 World Cup with an explosive strike-rate of 156.22 and average of 32. Munsey is the only Scotland batter to have recorded a T20I century in this period. Scotland will need their aggressor to be in top form as they approach one of their most important cricketing assignments in the game’s history.
3. Mark Watt
Watt, the left-arm orthodox spinner, has been Scotland’s most bankable bowler in this cycle. Since the end of the last T20 World Cup, he has taken 34 wickets in T20Is for his country while going for only 6.90 runs per over. Given the conditions in UAE, Watt promises to be a vital cog in his team’s wheels.
Probable Scotland Playing XI for T20 World Cup 2021
George Munsey, Kyle Coetzer (c), Matthew Cross, Richie Berrington (vc), Craig Wallace, Dylan Budge, Michael Leask, Mark Watt, Safyaan Sharif, Brad Wheal