Scotland ‘can make breakthrough’

Scotland head coach Grant Bradburn takes training

Grant Bradburn is taking heart from Scotland 2015 World Cup performances

Head coach Grant Bradburn insists that his Scotland side are capable of defeating a major nation at the forthcoming World Twenty20.

In three previous forays in the 50-over World Cup and two in its Twenty20 counterpart, the Saltires have exited at the first hurdle on each occasion.

They have suffered 17 defeats in 18 matches, with one no-result.

But Bradburn insisted: “I think we’ve proved we’ve got a very, very good white-ball team.”

Scotland came close to a breakthrough against New Zealand, Bangladesh and Afghanistan at the 2015 World Cup.

“We all feel that our skills are improving and we just need to get those confidence booster wins under our belt just to really get amongst the best sides in the world,” said Bradburn.

Scotland have largely stood by the same squad as last year, with Preston Mommsen once again leading a team that includes experienced Northamptonshire batsman Kyle Coetzer and Sussex’s Matt Machan.

Young bowlers Gavin Main and Mark Watt are among the new inclusions.

While Bradburn says he and his players have moved on, last year’s high-profile defeat in Dunedin still rankles, with Afghanistan having reached their victory target of 211 with one wicket and three balls to spare, despite being reduced to 97 for seven and 132 for eight.


Gavin Main, Calum Macleod, Preston Mommsen, Kyle Coetzer and Matthew Cross have travelled with the Scotland squad

Asked if vengeance was on Scotland’s mind in their qualifying round opener on 8 March in Nagpur, Bradburn said: “I think there’s definitely that feeling in the camp.

“The whole World Cup experience was so valuable for us.

“We were absolutely gutted not to come back with at least one win in that tournament, but it wasn’t to be.

“What it did show us is where the line of international cricket is.

“At times, we were able to touch that line, but we weren’t able to cross it.”

Scotland will also face Hong Kong and Zimbabwe – and, with only one team progressing from Group B, Bradburn, a former off-spinner and lower-order batsman who played seven Tests and 11 ODIs for New Zealand, knows his side need to hit the ground running.

“They’re all big threats,” he added. “We have a simple task: to go and win three games and that’s what we’re preparing for.

“We know that we can beat Afghanistan, we know that we can beat Hong Kong, but we hugely respect them.

“Zimbabwe, we don’t know much about, but we’re certainly doing our homework on them.

“They are tough associate nations and they’re very, very good T20 sides.”

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