Scotland: Craig Wright aims to improve players' mindset

By Kenny CrawfordBBC Sport Scotland
Calum MacLeod

Coach Craig Wright says he is using his time in interim charge of Scotland to try to better the players' mindset.

Two wins from three in Group A means they have secured progression to the Super Six stage at the 2015 World Cup qualifier in New Zealand.

"It's been about encouraging them to be strong and confident and impose themselves on the games," said Wright.

"The talent is there, but possibly on occasions we haven't quite done ourselves justice in critical moments."

A convincing 53-run victory over UAE followed a win against Nepal, but that had come after a disappointing opening defeat by Hong Kong.

The top three in each of the two groups progress to a Super Six stage and the best two sides secure the two remaining spots at the 2015 Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

"The other thing we've targeted is the consistency of performance," Wright told BBC Radio Scotland.

"It's important now we're on a little bit of a roll, having won two matches, that we make that three and then we move into the second phase once that's confirmed.

"We've been focusing on encouraging our guys to impose our style of play on the opposition rather than worrying too much about the opposition.

"That's why we were particularly pleased with this performance, which was full of positive intent in a game which was really important."

Canada are Scotland's next opponents on Thursday as Wright's men seek to rubber-stamp their progression.

Wright and former England international Paul Collingwood have joint interim head coach responsibilities at the qualifying tournament following the departure of Pete Steindl.

"I'm definitely relishing it," said Wright, a former Scotland captain.

"Obviously the circumstances of taking over weren't ideal and the timescales of it were all pretty quick, but it's been an enjoyable challenge.

"It's an opportunity for myself and Paul to gain some experience of working at this level in a coaching capacity and hopefully, touch wood, achieve some success."

Scotland's run hero against UAE was batsman Calum MacLeod, who posted a total of 113 from only 62 balls.

He said: "When you come into the full side, you have to accept there's a responsibility to go out and try and win games.

"It's not always going to work, but it's part of the pressure that comes with playing sport.

"I think going out and proving the brand of cricket that we want to play, the aggressive way we know we can play, is going to be a good statement."