Captain wants his side to build on experience for next T20 World Cup
Scotland defied the odds to qualify as group winners from the first stage of the competition in Oman, beating the hosts, Bangladesh and Papua New Guinea to reach the Super 12s stage for the first time in their history, but struggled in the second round, losing all five of their games.
They are already assured of a place in the first round of the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia by virtue of their Super 12s qualification, and Coetzer said that their success had inspired young players in Scotland and that his side had learned a lot they could take into next year’s campaign.
“I’m extremely proud of how we’ve played and what we’ve achieved,” Coetzer said. “We’ve got an excellent group and the guys are willing to learn and are trying to learn as fast as they can. Being exposed to what we have been in the Super 12s is only going to make us stronger and make us realise some of the skills and efforts you have to put in to achieve it at this level.
“Reaching the Super 12s was our immediate goal and we achieved that, but we need to learn as much as we possibly can because 12 months down the line, we’ve got another World Cup to go to. It’s going to be in different conditions so we’ll have to factor that in, but because we’ve experienced it, we now know what to expect.
“When we go home we have to be bold and brave, and make sure we push our whole organisation forward. We have to find a way to improve our ‘A’ team structures when we’re at home and find a way to keep developing this team, this squad of players that we have. We’ve got a long journey to go on but it’s an exciting one to be part of: who wouldn’t want to be part of Cricket Scotland right now?”
Coetzer said that Scotland had three key areas of improvement following the tournament: making better use of the powerplay with the bat, playing high-quality spin, and being “a little bit braver” with the ball by bluffing with field-sets.
“Not that we have never played here before – we have done quite a few times – but what we’ve realised is the importance of the powerplay,” he said. “We haven’t really nailed that yet with the bat.
“[We’ve learned] the importance of how to play high-quality spin bowling. I believe we’re a very strong side and very capable of playing spin bowling but it’s a different story when you come and play at Sharjah and some of these grounds out here, and the style in which the mystery spin is coming down. We have to go away and see how we can develop that.
“We need to be a little bit braver as a bowling unit, perhaps. We’ve noticed a number of the teams out here have actually been double-bluffing quite a lot, setting fields and bowling balls that don’t necessarily match up – but what they do do is they nail and execute those deliveries extremely well.”
“I wouldn’t like to say that,” he said. “We’ve prepared well. We think we’re playing pretty decent cricket but the standard has certainly gone up when we hit the Super 12 stage and we had to find a way to adapt as quickly as we possibly could. Playing cricket out in the UAE isn’t easy and we’ve learnt a lot from this occasion.
“We have been away from home for a little while but I wouldn’t like to use that as an excuse. We’ve got to look at ourselves and see where we can continue to improve. We’ve shown signs of that: look at Richie Berrington’s innings against a fine Pakistan attack. I thought he played outstandingly well and it may well go under the radar because we lost but it was a great knock.
“Hopefully from the seven weeks or so we’ve managed to inspire as many associate nations as we possibly can and hopefully inspire young cricketers back in Scotland. That’s why we’re here: we get to try and give it all for our country and be able to inspire as many people as we possibly can. That’s how I started many years ago, watching Scotland play in the World Cup and hopefully there’ll be a few more boys and girls coming through that will want to play cricket for their country.”
Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98