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Hamilton plotting Twenty20 suprise

Scotland batsman Gavin Hamilton is quietly optimistic his side can cause an upset at the ICC World Twenty20 next week.

The Scots begin their Group D campaign in Durban against Pakistan on Wednesday before facing India the following day.

Hamilton was recalled to the side in July after becoming one of the casualties of a disappointing World Cup campaign, with Scotland losing all three of their matches in the Caribbean - to Australia, South Africa and Netherlands.

And the former Yorkshire and England player is hoping the Saltires can acquit themselves better on the world stage this time around.

He said: "We've got to be realistic about it - they (Pakistan and India) are pretty decent sides but if you're going to play against two 'temperamental' teams, to say the least, I think it would be those two."

Scotland missed out on the chance to play a one-day international against Pakistan on July 1 when the Edinburgh encounter was washed out, and suffered a seven-wicket defeat to India in Glasgow last month.

But the 20-over game offers a different challenge, and one the Scots are fancying their chances in.

"I wouldn't say there's every chance but if there's ever a competition for something to happen then this is the sort or format - and that adds to the excitement of the whole thing," said Hamilton.

"It goes back to the Twenty20 format ... we're backing ourselves - never say never."

All three teams in the pool are under new guidance since the World Cup, with Andy Tennant and Peter Steindl having taken over coaching responsibilities for the Scots until the end of the season following Peter Drinnen's resignation at the start of July.

Scotland face warm-up matches against Bangladesh on Saturday and Zimbabwe on Sunday before the tournament gets under way next week.

Hamilton is a fan of the Twenty20 format, and is relishing the chance to pit himself against some of the world's finest cricketers.

He said: "The whole spectacle of the whole thing makes it worthwhile, worth looking forward to each game ... it's just pretty much non-stop."

The 32-year-old is also looking forward to going back to South Africa, where he earned his one Test match cap for England eight years ago.

While he may not have too many fond memories of the 1999 encounter in Johannesburg - picking up a pair and collecting no wickets against the Proteas - Hamilton is upbeat about the task ahead and insists those events are consigned to the memory bank.

"It was only the one game where it went pear-shaped," he recalled.

"I've spent eight winters in South Africa, playing to a pretty good standard, and obviously on the England tour we played quite a few first-class games and did okay.

"It's a completely different kettle of fish - I wouldn't say a swashbuckling sort of format, but it is something that's very much different."

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