Coetzer prepared for T20 Qualifier
With just a few days to go before 16 teams go head-to-head in the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2013 (WT20Q) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kyle Coetzer, the 29-year old Scotland captain, believes that his side can overcome some setbacks to finish in the top six.
Scotland is scheduled to tour Sri Lanka for a conditioning camp before arriving in the UAE for the WT20Q, which begins on 15 November in the UAE. Injuries have troubled Coetzer's side in the past few tournaments, and key player Preston Mommsen has been ruled out of the WT20Q with a pelvic injury.
Coetzer, however, was confident about the balance in the current side. “Missing Preston is massive and leaves a big hole, but we have got guys who are capable of taking up his spot which is very important,” noted Coetzer.
“We feel we have all bases covered in terms of flexibility in the squad like right-hand/left-hand combination in batting, different aggressiveness styles as well.”
Coetzer believes that Scotland has a good mix of bowlers that has added variety to its bowling line-up. “In bowling, we have right-arm and left-arm bowlers, which we have not had in the previous couple of tournaments. So it is nice to have that option, we have three left arm bowlers in our ranks, which give us variation,” he said.
Scotland finished fourth in the recently concluded Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Championship behind Ireland, Afghanistan and The Netherlands, but Coetzer said his side was working on getting back the momentum for the WT20Q and the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier scheduled to be played in January 2014.
“We have probably done well in the last couple of years and we did play some good cricket in that competition (WCL Championship 2011-13).” said Coetzer.
Talking about how important it was for Scotland to make it to the top six to progress to the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh next year, Coetzer said, “It will be massive for cricket in Scotland and for all the supporters we get from throughout the country. We have not been involved in a world tournament for a couple of years now, so it will be nice to get back in the world stage now.”
Scotland will benefit from the experience of its assistant coach Paul Collingwood, the ICC World Twenty20-winning England captain. Coetzer said, “Obviously, the experience that he brings being the England T20-winning captain in valuable.
“In terms of batting, he is really helping guys understand how to get about scoring their runs, or chasing down totals and setting a certain total. Having someone like Colly will be a massive advantage to our boys.”
Scotland is pitted against Afghanistan, The Netherlands, Bermuda, Denmark, Kenya, Nepal and Papua New Guinea in Group B for the tournament. The side is aiming forwins against the Afghans and the Dutch, Scotland’s recent WCL Championship rivals.
“Getting over Afghanistan or The Netherlands will fill our side with confidence,” assessed Coetzer. “Afghanistan has been a side we have not had a huge amount of success against. So we want to make a statement that we are here and we mean business.”
With the tournament being hosted in the UAE, Scotland will have to adapt quickly to the hot conditions. “We played out there a couple of times in a year so it is not like the conditions are absolutely foreign to us,” said Coetzer. “I would probably say that the conditions don't suit us as much as others, but you can’t use that as an excuse. You’ve just got to find a way to perform the best in those kinds of conditions.”
Scotland starts its WT20Q campaign on 15 November against Bermuda at Sharjah Cricket Stadium.