Paul Collingwood looks back on T20 Qualifiers
Scotland assistant coach Paul Collingwood spoke to Cricket Scotland after the T20 Qualifiers in the UAE
How did you find your first tour with Scotland?
I absolutely loved it, obviously it was very frustrating getting so close but not actually qualifying, you get emotionally involved when you're on the coaching side of things. To have played so well in those last four games and not qualify was devastating for everybody. It has certainly been a bit of a roller coaster ride so far.
What observations have you made so far in your time with the squad?
I think the way we reacted after the three defeats in the first four games, and the way the management stayed calm and reassessed our strategy, making a couple of changes, and then going about our business was excellent. I guess we could have easily thrown everything out of the window the way we'd been approaching it, but we didn’t, we stuck to our guns and insisted we had to be a bit better in our execution with the ball. After that we were a really tough team to beat. We stuck to our strengths and concentrated on restricting opposition runs. I think from that point we were really strong didn’t panic and played pretty consistent cricket right the way through.
What are your first impressions of associate cricket after your first tour?
It’s been a bit of an eye opener to be honest. The first couple of games against Bermuda and Afghanistan in the way they batted, Afghanistan in particular, it really does open your eyes to what sort of talent there is around and how unorthodox it can be at times. Sometimes it can pretty difficult to play against the care-free unorthodox approaches, but as I’ve said the way we reacted especially after we found ourselves in a situation in the tournament where we had to win all our remaining games to even have a sniff, and almost pulled off a miracle was very encouraging.
What are your thoughts ahead of the 2015 World Cup Qualifying trip to New Zealand?
Its another opportunity for the lads to play well, come together as a team and make themselves difficult to beat. We all know what the goal is, to get a World Cup spot, but you have to break it down as much as possible and win game by game and I’m absolutely 100% sure that the skill level in this side is very high and the guys are passionate about playing for Scotland. Everything ticked the right boxes; I just think we need to get the right result out in the middle. I don’t think there’s anything else we can do in terms of preparing guys, it’s up to them to go out there and perform well now.
They’ve certainly reacted in a really positive manner once we’d found ourselves in that situation. I think if we can maintain that level of performance we’ll be really a tough team to beat.
Who were the stand out performers for you over the tour?
The great thing in the T20 format of the game is that everybody put their hand up during the period. At the top of the order MacLeod and Berrington were very impressive, Machan was very solid, and Majid Haq impressed with a few of his performances. If you look at our all performances there was certain aspects of our game which were very compact.