T20 World Cup 2021 | We don't see Bangladesh higher than PNG or Oman, says Scotland coach of first-round opponents
Scotland coach Shane Burger is confident that the team is well-rounded to challenge any opponent at T20 WC 2021|
Scotland coach Shane Burger is confident of his team giving a tough fight to their first round Group B opponents Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea and Oman at the T20 World Cup. The Kyle Coetzer led team will begin their campaign against Bangladesh at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground on Sunday, October 17.
Scotland, the 14th ranked T20I side, are placed alongside Bangladesh (sixth), Papua New Guinea (15th) and Oman (18th) in Group B of the first round at the T20 World Cup 2021. They head into the tournament on the back of convincing wins against Netherlands and Namibia in their practice games earlier this week.
Shane Burger, the team coach is confident that Kyle Coetzer’s men can challenge any team in the competition if they hit their best, given the vagaries of the shortest format.
"We know we can catch any team off guard if we play our best cricket, it is as simple as that," Burger told ESPNcricinfo. "The shortest format does bring every team closer together. We know what we have in the tank. If we deliver our best cricket, we can beat any team, whether that's Bangladesh, Oman or Papua New Guinea.
"We don't see Bangladesh being anywhere higher than PNG or Oman in terms of these group games. We know every single team is going to come at us. We will be their biggest game. We are prepped and ready.
"The matches against Netherlands and Namibia would give us fantastic momentum going into our first World Cup game against a quality team like Bangladesh. It has allowed us to feel pressure. It has allowed us to win big moments. We have made mistakes but we also played some really good cricket over the past month.
"In a nutshell, come Sunday, those performances in the past won't really make a huge difference. It depends what we do on the day. We have to make sure we are in the present, and put in our best performance. We can only focus on the Scotland way, and back each and every individual to bring out the best performance on the day."
Scotland have a great mix of skill and experience in their batting department, with Coetzer, Richie Berrington, George Munsey and Matthew Cross. Munsey and Cross had scored brisk fifties to power Scotland to 203/7 against Namibia at Dubai’s ICC Academy Ground on Thursday.
"Our strength is finding boundaries. We pride ourselves in this, and train to do this very often," Burger said. "It is great to have Berrington, Coetzer and Munsey in your batting line-up. It provides the rest of the batting line-up with the confidence that these experienced players are in good form.
"They also help the others know what a World Cup might feel like. We rely on every single individual who has the skills and all the assets to win the game for their country."
Spin is expected to play a significant role in the UAE and Oman, and Scotland have the promising Chris Greaves in their set up, who bagged 4/19 against Netherlands on Tuesday, including the prized scalp of Ryan ten Doeschate.
"I am incredibly happy with what Chris Greaves has shown in the past while," Burger said. "His ability to take wickets in the middle period, and turn the ball both ways is an asset that any wrist-spinner needs to have nowadays in the shorter formats.
"You only have to see how many wrist-spinners are among the top-ten-ranked bowlers in the world, to know that they make a huge impact. Greaves certainly has put his name up to be selected, but we will not be revealing the team as yet."