ICC World Twenty20 /

Team preview: Scotland

Undercooked

For Scotland, the tournament will amount to little more than experience at the highest level. The gulf between them and the Full Member sides is just too large. By Will Luke

Will Luke

September 7, 2007

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Dougie Brown is back, but how far will he be able to carry Scotland on his own? © Getty Images
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The names Brown, Blain and Drummond may not send a cold chill down opposing captains' spines, but Scotland are determined to shake off the tag of no-hopers and make amends for their dismal showing in the World Cup.

They and Kenya are the only two Associates to feature, after reaching the final of the World Cricket League in Nairobi in February. As ever, though, their participation in this tournament raises the age-old question: are they (and Kenya) good enough and do they warrant inclusion along with Full Member nations?

It will be terrific experience for them, no doubt. And yes, the fewer the overs, the greater the chance teams like Scotland and Kenya have of inflicting an upset. But their training has been characteristically poor - the squad haven't trained together since their last one-dayer, against India in August - and the disparity of talent between them and the top teams will be too great.

Home truths
The good news is that Dougie Brown, their most experienced player, is back. The bad news is he has only played two club games since his Achilles injury in July. He alone can't carry the team, especially against the naturally aggressive batsmen that both Pakistan and India possess. However their captain, Ryan Watson, has spoken boldly of their chances and reckons Scotland have won "90 per cent of games in the last few years which have been reduced to 25 overs or less".

The fewer the overs, the greater the chance teams like Scotland have of inflicting an upset. But their training has been characteristically poor and the disparity of talent between them and the top teams will be too great

Strengths
Brown is their strength, if only for his exposure to Twenty20 in county cricket. But due to his injury he is unlikely to bowl too much, which will further weaken Scotland's attack. Likewise Gavin Hamilton, 32, will give the squad some lower-order nous, and Scotland's fielding is impressively watertight for an Associate.

Weaknesses
Scotland have never played a Twenty20. Adding to that rather significant hamstring: the team haven't trained together for a month as they all have full-time jobs. Watson is a powerful striker of the ball, but their batting lacks the frenetic urgency required to post challenging totals.

Player to watch
Ryan Watson Soft-spoken off the pitch; solid, powerful and combative out in the middle. His game is the most balanced of Scotland's line-up. In 21 ODIs he has made three fifties and a top-score of 123.

Dark horse
Scotland As Ireland proved with their defeat of Pakistan in the World Cup, anything's possible in the shortened game. The odd questionable lbw decision; a dropped catch here and a flurry of sixes there, and who knows?

Will Luke is a staff writer on Cricinfo

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Will Luke Assistant editor Will opted against a lifetime of head-bangingly dull administration in the NHS, where he had served for two years. In 2005 came a break at Cricinfo where he slotted right in as a ferociously enthusiastic tea drinker and maker, with a penchant for using "frankly" and "marvellous". He also runs The Corridor, a cricket blog where he can be found ranting and raving about all things - some even involving the sport. He is a great-great nephew of Sir Jack Newman, the former Wellingtonian bowler who took two wickets at 127 apiece for New Zealand.
Related Links
Players/Officials: Dougie Brown | Gavin Hamilton | Ryan Watson
Series/Tournaments: ICC World Twenty20
Teams: Scotland
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India won by 5 runs
Australia v India at Durban - Sep 22, 2007
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New Zealand v Pakistan at Cape Town - Sep 22, 2007
Pakistan won by 6 wickets (with 7 balls remaining)
South Africa v India at Durban - Sep 20, 2007
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Bangladesh v Pakistan at Cape Town - Sep 20, 2007
Pakistan won by 4 wickets (with 6 balls remaining)
Australia v Sri Lanka at Cape Town - Sep 20, 2007
Australia won by 10 wickets (with 58 balls remaining)
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News | Features Last 3 days