'We will be their biggest game' - Scotland coach Shane Burger's warning to first-round opponents
Scotland have beaten Netherlands and Namibia recently, and take on Bangladesh, PNG and Oman in the first round of the T20 World Cup
Scotland coach Shane Burger believes the side's experience with the bat and depth in bowling will allow it to go toe-to-toe against Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea and Oman in the first round of the T20 World Cup.
"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."
Bangladesh are the top-rated team in that group - B - and Scotland start their campaign against them on Sunday, but Burger is confident. "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."
"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"Shane Burger
Burger's confidence also comes from Scotland's wins over Netherlands and Namibia in the warm-up games last week, and while they haven't played a lot of T20Is this year, Burger is hoping that they are peaking at the right time.
"The matches against Netherlands and Namibia would give us fantastic momentum going into our first World Cup game against a quality team like Bangladesh," he said. "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."
For Scotland, the senior batters like Richie Berrington, Kyle Coetzer and George Munsey bring runs, confidence and stability, and that could well be the key for them. "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 have the skills and all the assets to win the game for their country."
Having a wristspinner, especially in the UAE and Oman, should be useful, and Scotland have one in 31-year-old Chris Greaves, who made his T20I debut last week, and took a four-wicket haul against Netherlands. "I am incredibly happy with what Chris Greaves have 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 wristspinner needs to have nowadays in the shorter formats.
"You only have to see how many wristspinners 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."
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84