Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer accepted a bruising eight-wicket defeat to India on Friday is one they have to endure in order to “see better days further down the road”.
India’s hopes of reaching the T20 World Cup semi-finals remain out of their hands, but they gave their net run-rate a shot in the arm by blowing away Scotland for 85 and then overhauling the target in just 6.3 overs in Dubai.
KL Rahul pummelled six fours and three sixes as he went to his half-century off only 18 deliveries, before holing out off the very next ball, on a day where the gulf in quality between the two sides was apparent.
It was a fourth successive Super 12s defeat for Scotland, who have exceeded expectations just by reaching this stage, but Coetzer remained level-headed and pointed out a setback like this was inevitable at some stage.
Coetzer said: “This result didn’t go the way we wanted but we have to go through days like this to see better days further down the road. It’s very important for our guys to experience that, see the high class that was on show.
“We were certainly not at the races ourselves but I think they forced us to not be at the races. I’m still extremely proud of the guys but we’ve got a lot of learning to do and we have to go through days like this to improve.
“You stack up the number of games some of the players in that team have played in comparison to what we have in T20 cricket, we were always going to be up against it. But we’ll just go from strength to strength after this.
“We have to be bold and brave to keep moving this group of players, we can’t be happy with just playing a few Super 12s games and then going home. We need to be brave and push that a little bit further.”
Jasprit Bumrah became India’s leading T20 wicket-taker but it was fellow quick Mohammed Shami and slow left-armer Ravindra Jadeja who were chiefly responsible for Scotland subsiding in 17.4 overs as they each took three for 15.
This was the first-ever T20 between the sides and while George Munsey (24) and Michael Leask (21) flickered briefly, seven of Scotland’s batters fell for scores between nought and two.
A number were either beaten for pace by Shami and Bumrah or done by the spin of Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin and Scotland will now turn their attentions to their final match against group leaders Pakistan on Sunday
Coetzer added: “We’re going to go into that game as full of confidence as we possibly can.
“We’ve taken a few heavy punches here, that’s for sure, and the guys will be hurting but we need to pick ourselves up and be prepared to put on a show in our last game.
“We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved. A few doors left open that we didn’t go through but that’s for us to deal with when we go home.”
India’s win means all eyes in the group will now be on New Zealand’s final group game against Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
Victory for the Kiwis would see them advance alongside Pakistan to the knockout stages but an Afghanistan win would leave the door ajar for India and, in such a scenario, they would require another heavy win over Namibia on Monday.
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