T20I series win came as a surprise – Steve Rhodes

Steve Rhodes, Bangladesh’s head coach, said that he was pleased with the performance of the side in the limited overs series in the recently-concluded tour of the Windies but has asked them to guard against complacency. He also praised Shakib Al Hasan and Mashrafe Mortaza for displaying fine leadership skills.

After being humbled to a point of embarrassment in the two Tests, in which they were defeated within two days on both occasions, they managed to pull their way back in the limited-overs leg and won the ODI and T20I series that followed.

“We don’t want to get too carried away, but certainly we are very pleased,” Rhodes said on Thursday (August 9), and added that the team could have won the 50-over series 3-0.

“I think it (the win) would give confidence to the squad. There’s nothing better than winning. We have already played pretty well in ODIs previously, so we are optimistic.”

While he wasn’t surprised with the result in the ODIs, he didn’t expect the side to beat Windies in the T20Is. In Windies, not only were they up against the world champions in the shortest format, but Bangladesh had also failed to win a single T20I series away since mid 2012.

“The T20s came as a bit of a surprise,” he said. “We really did play well in the second and third game. I am delighted that we have two series trophies. It was a great effort.”

The newly-appointed coach believes the defeat in the Test series served as a wake-up call for the side. For Rhodes, himself, it wasn’t the easiest of starts in his new assignment as Bangladesh were bowled out within the first session on Day 1 in Antigua.

Even as the visitors were outplayed in all departments in the first Test, Rhodes believes the toss played a crucial role in deciding the outcome of the contest.

“The Test series was tough. We took a bit of a beating. Our batting was exposed a little bit in the Test matches. I think we need to generally tidy up a little bit, to try to improve our Test match batting,” he said, adding that the issue with the batsmen was more mental than technical. “But we have got quality players. We just need to adapt to conditions and opposition a little bit quicker in away Test matches.

“I think in the first Test, the toss was crucial. The wicket seamed, bounced and swung. The West Indies attack – (Kemar) Roach, (Shannon) Gabriel and (Miguel) Cummins – with the Dukes cricket ball were very useful. Most batting would have struggled in Antigua.”

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