A WEEK between T20 World Cup fixtures has afforded Scotland a period of respite although it must be hard to completely switch off when Kane Williamson’s lifting weights in the gym and Jimmy Neesham’s drifting by on the lazy river.

The Super 12s have not been kind to Shane Burger’s side so far, with both Afghanistan and Namibia running up comfortable victories to quell the excitement that had built up around the Saltires during an enthralling first round stage.

It does not get any easier for Scotland from here on in, with New Zealand lying in wait on Wednesday ahead of clashes with India and Pakistan.

Bubble life can be claustrophobic, with players unable to stray too far from the hotel. And when you’re sharing accommodation with your next opponents, it does mean a few awkward encounters here and there.

“It’s a proper hotel bubble so it’s a bit frustrating as we can’t really get out and do too much,” explains Brad Wheal, the Scotland seamer.

“There’s a team room where we can play board games and keep ourselves busy. There’s ping pong and a swimming pool but we’re only allowed that at certain times as Australia and New Zealand are also staying here so we have to rotate through the pool and the gym. They’re trying to keep us separate as much as possible.

“It’s a funny one sharing with New Zealand seeing we’re playing them next! A few of our lads know their lads so they seem a good bunch of guys when we see them around the place.

“It’s a bit of a unique situation and one we’ve never really experienced before. Normally when you’re on a tour you’re allowed out and about and on your days off you can go for a walk or go around a shopping mall.

“So this has been very different. You’re always around your team-mates so it’s about finding a balance between alone time and time with the team. You’re seeing these guys 24 hours a day so we’re lucky everyone gets along. We’ve bonded over the last couple of weeks and made some good friendships.”

Durban-born Wheal arrived at this tournament on a high after an impressive stint in The Hundred but having not played competitive T20I cricket for four years.

His three wickets against Bangladesh on the opening game extended that good run of form although he has managed just two in the subsequent four contests.

“It was quite a long season and I’ve played a lot of cricket over the last few months,” said the 24 year-old.

“But it was a very exciting time and a good year in my career. I was pretty confident coming into this tournament and looking forward to putting my skills up against the best. That’s the stage you want to be on.

“It was very exciting for me to come back because it was a four-year hiatus, I guess you could call it. I went through a couple of years of injuries, which was quite tough. I had two stress fractures in my back and a side strain, which as a bowler is part and parcel and you have to learn to deal with it.

“Being out of playing for such a long period of time is tough because you feel like maybe your skills aren’t at the level they should be. You’ve got to work extra hard on your fitness and skills to get where you want to be.”

Few will give Scotland a chance against three of the best sides in the world but Wheal – whose mum is Scottish – is excited rather than intimidated at facing batters of the mould of Williamson, Neesham and India’s Virat Kohli.

“So far we had a good run of it in the first three games and not so much in the last two. But it’s not that often that Scotland gets these opportunities to play against these massive teams and we’re learning every day.

“We have New Zealand, India and Pakistan over the next week which is ludicrous to think about! But so exciting at the same time. All the guys have worked so hard to get here and get Cricket Scotland to where we’re at right now.

“More than anything it’s going to be exciting, putting your skills up against the best of the best. These are the best few batters in the world you’re going to be testing yourself against.

“You’ve got to back your plans. You do your analysis and decide what your plans are going to be for each batter. When you’re standing there, it’s about feeling in complete control and the results will take care of itself, regardless of who’s standing down the other end.”