Exclusive: Scots fire warning shots 
at T20 World Cup big guns

Members of the Scotland team during a training session in Dubai. — Cricket Scotland Twitter
Members of the Scotland team during a training session in Dubai. — Cricket Scotland Twitter

Dubai - The Scottish Saltires famously defeated England, the top-ranked ODI side then, in 2018


James Jose

Published: Wed 13 Oct 2021, 11:14 PM

Cricket is littered with quite a few upsets and Scotland hope that they can reprise one of their very own feats in the forthcoming T20 World Cup in UAE and Oman.

The Scottish Saltires famously defeated England, the top-ranked ODI side then, in 2018 and coach Shane Burger believes that his wards are more than capable of hunting a few down in cricket’s showpiece, starting with Bangladesh.

“If we play the sort of cricket we know we can play and if we stick to our game plans, processes and routines, I’ve no doubt that we can cause an upset against them,” Burger told Khaleej Times.

Scotland coach Shane Burger. — Cricket Scotland Twitter
Scotland coach Shane Burger. — Cricket Scotland Twitter

The Scots go up against Bangladesh in their Group B opener in Al Amerat, Oman, on October 17.

“They go in as favourites in that game, no doubt, but we’ve knocked over some big scalps previously. Confidence levels are really high at the moment. I’m just watching from the outside on how the guys are training, how they’re talking. And if any of these four members want to take any of these associate teams lightly whether that’s us, whether that’s any of the other teams, they need to be really careful. I know that if we bring our best cricket, we will certainly be a force to be reckoned with. But, ultimately, that’s up to us to make sure that we do bring that cricket, and we will not be taking them lightly. We know that they’ve got a lot of really good players and they will put us under pressure on many occasions. But when those big moments come, I have no doubt that we can beat them,” he added.

And while Burger has high expectations from his men, the 39-year-old South African said that the first target would be to make it out of the first round and qualify for the Super 12s.

“Firstly, to get into round two is a very realistic target,” said Burger whose team will also face Oman, Papua New Guinea in Group B.

“Many people will say that we’ve actually got the easier group and I’ve heard many people mention that. And I think the one thing we do need to be really mindful of is that Bangladesh just recently beat Australia, so they are in a good space, they’ve got a good coaching staff, they’ve got good players. PNG (Papua New Guinea) got to the finals of the qualifiers, they’ve shown previously that they pretty much could do anything on a given day. And if you take Oman, the hosts, no one knows that ground better than they do. They’ve got some really dangerous cricketers. So, I think for both groups, needing to be finishing in the top two to go through is serious pressure for all the teams that are involved, not just those teams that are expected to get through. So, I think it’s going to be a great competition, I’ve no doubt, and we’re really looking forward to it, looking forward to the challenges and can’t wait. Really excited,” he added.

And he said that the run-up to the tournament has been going along well and felt that associate countries could do with more cricket.

“We’ve been crying out for cricket for a long period of time now and not just cricket but consistently good challenging cricket. That’s what we’ve been crying out for not only during the pandemic but in normal times. The only way a team keeps improving is by playing in tough situations tough games, and by challenging players all the time. That’s how we keep improving as a unit and as a support staff,” Burger said.

“And the preparation has been excellent. The fact that we’ve been able to get out and train on good facilities and play against really challenging teams is a bonus. It’s never going to be perfect, it’s never going to be exactly what you need, but we got to be able to adapt and we’ve got to be able to bring our best cricket at the time when we need to. And we’ve got to make sure that we keep performing and we got to peak at the right time. We got to make sure that when that 17th of October comes and we playing Bangladesh in Oman, we got to make sure that we bring out all the skills that we know we need to be bringing out. That’s the key for me and I know if this team goes out and plays the way that we know they can play, then we can really upset a few big names,” he signed off.

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