Bangladesh begin preparation for WI as Steve Rhodes reign dawns

Bangladesh new head coach Steve Rhodes is aware of Windies’ strong points but believes that a good start will help his side pick up momentum in the build up to the two-Test series in Caribbean.

Rhodes, who replaced Chandika Hathurusingha as head coach, began his stint by bringing his players together at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium for a three-day long preparatory camp, at the culmination of which the team will fly out to West Indies, on June 23. Rhodes spent the opening day trying to understand his players and not really delving much on the strategy front straight away.

“I spoke to the boys for 15 minutes. But I did that on purpose because one of the ways I want to coach is keeping things simple. Not too much information. The message you know was private. Something to do with that dressing room and its best to keep it that way. As far as tactics, we talked a little bit. In the next three days we are going to sit with respective coaches and discuss of what we need to do and where we need to be,” said Rhodes.

Rhodes, who played 11 Test matches and couple of ODIs as a wicketkeeper for England, believes in an uncomplicated approach to preparing for Test matches. In his words, the format is all about escaping “traps.”

“Test matches are not complicated,” he remarked emphatically in his first media session. “To try to win a Test match you need to get a good start. It is not rocket science. It is about getting out from the traps, getting a good score or bowling the opposition out and dominating the game and trying our best to not let the opposition back in the game.”

From a more technical point of view, Rhodes expects the pitches in West Indies to play very similar to how they’ve been doing in the ongoing series against Sri Lanka, with just the little bit of assistance for the seamers. This knowledge is being drilled into the side at the camp to ensure there are no surprises upon landing.

“You have been watching the series against Sri Lanka. I think there is some reality in how you go about your preparation. For playing game you need to know what’s coming ahead of you. But you also need to know the individuals in the team. You need to know the players very quickly and get to know how they prepare best for a successful Test match,” he said.

“At the moment the wickets are bouncing and going through to potentially suit their bowlers. I think that the wickets are going to be very similar. The three we have got here we are going to try and repeat and incorporate what we might expect in the Caribbean with wickets being little bit greener, bouncier. As well some of drill work we will be doing in the net area. Just to hopefully get as ready as possible. I am sure the West Indian practice wickets will be like Bangladesh wickets,” he said.

The new coach, who has prepared for his stint by meticulously going over YouTube videos of Bangladesh’s cricketers, believes losing Mustafizur Rahman for the series will be a big blow to the side but his absence opens up opportunities for the remaining quicks in the squad.

“I think there is no going away from the fact that losing Mustafizur for the first Test and may be the series is a blow. He is a wonderful bowler. But the four quicks that are going have a wonderful opportunity. If they can put together spells of bowling and bowl in pairs or a partnership and equal to that of West Indians quicks, it is a wonderful challenge for them.

“I think the depth of fast bowling is something that we certainly we are trying to improve. Our spinners are world class they might not get a lot of purchase off the wicket. There certainly going to be some footholes there as the match happens and I am sure they will come in the game as well,” he summed up.

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