Scotland flagScotland
Current ranking4 (ICC) 2 (CricketEurope)
ODI record since 2007 World Cup Played 10 Won 2 Lost 5 NR 3
Group phase schedule 1 April: Ireland, Willowmoore Park
2 April: Namibia, LC de Villiers Oval
4 April: Oman, WITS University
6 April: Uganda, WITS University
8 April: Canada, Willowmoore Park
Key playersJohn Blain, Ryan Watson, Gavin Hamilton
Wise Old HeadsCraig Wright, Colin Smith
Emerging playersCalum Macleod, Gordon Goudie, Kyle Coetzer
CoachPeter Steindl
PreparationSouth Africa (Potchefstroom)

Scotland begin as defending champions, having beaten hosts Ireland in the final of the 2005 ICC Trophy, and as one of the favourites to reach the 2011 World Cup.

They have one of the most experienced of all the squads, with a core of five players - captain Ryan Watson, his predecessor Craig Wright, county veterans Gavin Hamilton and John Blain, and wicketkeeper Colin Smith - who have between them played more than 600 List A matches.

Scotland team (photo by CricketEurope)On the other hand, at 30 Blain is the baby of this quintet, and despite the pattern of alternating rest days there is bound to be a question about how they will stand up to the demands of a potential eleven matches in three weeks.

But together with Dewald Nel, Blain forms one of the most effective new-ball partnerships in Associates cricket, and the Scots will be looking to South African-born newcomer Jan Stander and the comparatively inexperienced seamers Gordon Goudie and Calum MacLeod to back up the opening bowlers and make life difficult for opposing batsmen.

Add in the off-spin of Majid Haq and Watson, and perhaps the leg breaks of Moneeb Iqbal, recalled to the side after a seven-year absence, and Scotland seem certain to have one of the more imposing attacks in the tournament.

For the Scots to go all the way, however, the batting will need to do its stuff as well.

Watson and Hamilton are proven performers at the highest level, but coach Peter Steindl will be wanting consistency from a group of talented batsmen who have yet to impose themselves on the international scene: Warwickshire's Navdeep Poonia, Durham's Kyle Coetzer, and Qasim Sheikh.

With Neil McCallum, Smith and Wright in the middle order to capitalise on a good start, and the unknown quantity of Stander, Scotland are capable of running up, or chasing, substantial totals, but the younger batsmen will have the opportunity here to enhance their reputations and establish their place in the side for some time to come.

One worry for Steindl is the reported back problem of Smith, whose batting has often been crucial for Scotland; his namesake Simon is a valuable standby behind the stumps, but the loss of Colin in the lower middle order would be a considerable blow. The Scots will be crossing their fingers that he recovers in time.