Scotland must aim for 350 to have a chance says Craig Wallace
Scotland’s cricketers cannot afford to be “timid” and must be looking to score well over 300 runs against Sri Lanka today if they are to once again have a chance of defeating one of the top One Day International sides, according to batsman Craig Wallace.
The two teams meet at The Grange in Edinburgh in the second ODI after the first game was rained off on Saturday.
Sri Lanka are ninth in the world in this format with Scotland 13th and Forfarshire and Caledonian Highlanders man Wallace, 28, knows that against the top teams you have to now be aiming to score near to 350 runs from your 50 overs to compete, such is the way that the top batsmen can strike the ball to all parts of the ground now.
“The bar has definitely been raised in the last year or two in terms of the expectations on us as a team in this format,” he said.
“It’s quite exciting as a batter when you’re going out there with a target of making 300 plus every time. You’ve got to play your shots, there’s no time to be timid and that’s exciting.”
Wallace has been around the Scotland squad for a number of years now and, having just missed out on selection for the England game last summer, was given the nod by head coach Shane Burger to start the Afghanistan match on 10 May.
In that one he hit a quickfire 20 batting at No 6 and now he wants to try to cement his spot in the XI.
“It was good to be involved [in the Afghanistan game], but there’s still a lot I can improve on,” said the man with 23 ODIs under his belt to date.
“I’ve been working pretty hard all winter and at the start of this season, but I’ve got a lot to do before I can nail my role in the team. If I had done a little bit better against Afghanistan and we ended up making 340 or 350 [instead of 325-7] then we might have won the game. I was still happy with how it went, but now I need to kick on.”
And to kick on Wallace feels the team must continue to believe in what they are doing under Burger, who only came into the post a couple of months ago. “We’ve just tried to keep believing in what we want to do,” he stated.
“The Afghanistan game was really close and we couldn’t quite get over the line and we know we need to play good cricket if we are going to win games like this.
“That’s what we’re trying to do. Hopefully it will come good in this game.
“We are all enjoying playing under Shane and now we want to get a result to prove that.
“Having lots more games coming up this summer definitely helps. We sat down two weeks ago and looked at the fixture list and for the first time I actually felt like an international cricketer. That was brilliant. It gives the guys a big lift as well. It’s not just having two games to look forward to and then nothing. It’s nice to have this game against Sri Lanka, then a wee break, and then you’re already building towards the next set of fixtures, that’s really important.”
Meanwhile, Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer, left, reports that his players are straining at the leash to get out into the middle and show people what they are capable of.
The 35-year-old said: “Shane is so keen to get us out there, it must be so frustrating for him because all of the games he has been in charge of so far against Afghanistan and Sri Lanka have been weather affected to some extent.
“We have trained well, we have prepared well and we just want to play some more cricket.”
With key batsman Richie Berrington out with a broken finger, opportunity may knock for Michael Jones, Michael Leask or Dylan Budge to come into the XI in this game.
“We have some highly skilled people who are scoring runs in different competitions, so whoever comes into the team can do a job, no question, we have a strong squad,” Coetzer concluded.