The excitement is palpable as one of the most enthralling tournaments in world cricket is almost upon us. The ICC T20I World Cup gets underway this month, and we preview the 16 teams that will be competing to lift the famous trophy. Here we have the lowdown on Scotland.

Scotland have struggled with inconsistency over the last couple of years and haven’t played a whole lot of cricket this year. But luck was certainly on their side in the group stage draw. And they will fancy their chances of at least qualifying for the Super 12s stage at the ICC T20I World Cup. In order to do that though, they must make sure that they use their experience to good effect and don’t get complacent against two teams that are known for springing surprises.

Recent Form

Scotland had to wait until September to play their first T20I of the year. Three of their five matches this year have come against Zimbabwe and one against Papua New Guinea. They lost their series against Zimbabwe 2-1, managed to beat Papua New Guinea in a warm-up match for the World Cup on October 08, and then lost to Namibia a day later. That inconsistency and lack of cricket in recent months makes them a very unpredictable team to play against.

Biggest Strength

Scotland has a versatile squad with great experience. And that could be their biggest strength, especially against teams like Papua New Guinea and Oman. They have a strong batting unit, led by the in-form opening batter George Munsey. They also have the veteran Kyle Coetzer and Calum MacLeod in their ranks, who will play a key role with their batting skills, know-how and leadership.

Biggest Weakness

Scotland’s biggest weakness might be the lack of quality spin bowling options in their squad. In Michael Leask, Hamza Tahir and Mark Watt, Scotland have three decent spin bowling options. But it remains to be seen whether they have the quality to succeed on pitch where spin bowling could well be the difference between teams.

Calum MacLeod and Kyle Coetzer are the most capped and the
highest run-scorers in Scottish cricket history

What the media are saying

There is a confidence that Scotland will be able to make it to the Super 12s in what appears to be a relatively straightforward group. While Scotland isn’t expected to beat Bangladesh, the Scottish media have confidence that Shane Burger’s side can see off the challenge of Papua New Guinea and Oman. The Super 12s, if they manage to reach that stage, will be somewhat of a free hit for Scotland, giving them a chance to test themselves against the best.

George Munsey one smashed a fierce 147 off 39 balls in an unofficial Twenty20 game between Gloucestershire 2nd XI and Bath CC.

Star Player

Scotland’s most important player is hard-hitting opening batter George Munsey. The 28 year old has a T20I career strike rate of 155.01 and also has one hundred and seven 50s to his name, with a high score of 127. His runs at the top of the order will be crucial to Scotland’s hopes of making it to the Super 12s. And if he gets going, the Scots may even fancy their chances of pulling off an upset against the top teams.

Brad Wheal took 9 wickets at an economy rate of just 7.24 for the London Spirit in The Hundred earlier this year

Keep an eye on…

Hampshire bowler Brad Wheal has been making a lot of waves of late. And he could be one to watch for Scotland at the T20I World Cup. The 24 year old has developed into a solid bowler in recent years and displayed some glimpses of what he is capable of at the Hundred in August. His pace bowling could well end up making the difference for Scotland this month.

Projected XI

George Munsey, Kyle Coetzer (c), Richie Berrington, Calum MacLeod, Matthew Cross (wk), Craig Wallace, Michael Leask, Mark Watt, Safyaan Sharif, Alasdair Evans, Brad Wheal

Prediction

With a fairly easy group to navigate, Scotland will fancy their chances of making it to the Super 12s stage. They have the batting quality and a fairly strong pace battery. And that should be enough to qualify for the next round. But causing problems to the big guns will likely prove to be very difficult for them.