Windies will be tough to beat in T20Is – Rhodes

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Steve Rhodes, the Bangladesh head coach, hailed the home side after the Asian nation put up a fine all-round show in the final game of the three-match ODI rubber versus the Windies in Sylhet to seal the series 2-1. After hurtling to a defeat in the second match, Bangladesh raised their game by a few notches in the series-decider and registered a crushing nine-wicket victory.
Rhodes, however, observed that the Windies possess a powerful side for the shortest format of the game, and it would be difficult to defeat them in the upcoming T20I series starting on December 17. On a positive note, Bangladesh usurped the current World T20 champions by a 2-1 margin in their own backyard, earlier in the year.
“To beat them again in the ODI series was very special,” said Rhodes. “We were disappointed we didn’t win the second ODI and wrap it up earlier, but having said that I thought that yesterday was a great game. Good cricket played by Bangladesh. The way we bowled, and the way Tamim (Iqbal), Soumya (Sarkar) and Liton (Das) set about chasing that score was a very special batting effort from the guys.
“T20, as Mash[rafe] said in his interview, is the best format for the Windies. They are the world champions and they will be very difficult to beat. Having said that, the way we beat them in the West Indies was a very special victory for us. It was a little bit unexpected but the boys did extremely well to win that last game in Florida. They are hurting again, like all teams that you play against and if you win, you can expect some sort of a backlash.
“I think the West Indies, with some new players who have arrived here, will be a tough opposition. It’s the format that they know very well. We will give it our best shot. They always do, the boys. They keep surprising me because they come up with some great performances. Now we have got some continuity with regards to winning series, so wonderful news for Bangladesh,” he added.
In recent times, Bangladesh have tinkered with their combinations, evidenced by batsmen slotting in at different positions in the line-up. A case in point is Soumya Sarkar. The southpaw, who largely slots in the top order, accrued a crucial hand of 33 while batting at No.7 in the Asia Cup final against India. After batting lower down the order in the first two ODIs versus the Windies, he moved up to No.3 for the final ODI and cracked a fine hand of 80.
Rhodes stressed upon the point of having a flexible batting unit. He also commended Sarkar for showing the required batting aptitude to play at different positions. “It’s important not to pigeonhole. Give people tags, that this is what they do. They’re batsmen, they may open some days and they may not open some days. They are quality batsmen and batsmen can play anywhere.
“Essentially the other thing is going from number four or five to open is more difficult. If you are an opening bat, you can bat practically anywhere. And I think Soumya has really shown some good signs in batting anywhere for us. He is a very versatile cricketer – he bowls, he fields – he can bat anywhere. He is a very good cricketer to have around. And Imrul (Kayes), predominantly, has been an opener but we saw in the Asia Cup that he came in and batted at number seven and got 70-odd. I quite like the idea of having versatility in batting and people who like batting in different positions.
Rhodes played first-class cricket in England for close to 23 years before taking up coaching roles. The former England and Worcestershire ‘keeper-batsman said that he would look to use all his experience to help the Bangladesh side during next year’s World Cup, scheduled to be held in the UK. He also reckoned that Bangladesh are close to finalising the eventual squad for the mega-event.
In recent times, Bangladesh have tinkered with their combinations, evidenced by batsmen slotting in at different positions in the line-up. A case in point is Soumya Sarkar. The southpaw, who largely slots in the top order, accrued a crucial hand of 33 while batting at No.7 in the Asia Cup final against India. After batting lower down the order in the first two ODIs versus the Windies, he moved up to No.3 for the final ODI and cracked a fine hand of 80.
Rhodes stressed upon the point of having a flexible batting unit. He also commended Sarkar for showing the required batting aptitude to play at different positions. “It’s important not to pigeonhole. Give people tags, that this is what they do. They’re batsmen, they may open some days and they may not open some days. They are quality batsmen and batsmen can play anywhere.
“Essentially the other thing is going from number four or five to open is more difficult. If you are an opening bat, you can bat practically anywhere. And I think Soumya has really shown some good signs in batting anywhere for us. He is a very versatile cricketer – he bowls, he fields – he can bat anywhere. He is a very good cricketer to have around. And Imrul (Kayes), predominantly, has been an opener but we saw in the Asia Cup that he came in and batted at number seven and got 70-odd. I quite like the idea of having versatility in batting and people who like batting in different positions.
Rhodes played first-class cricket in England for close to 23 years before taking up coaching roles. The former England and Worcestershire ‘keeper-batsman said that he would look to use all his experience to help the Bangladesh side during next year’s World Cup, scheduled to be held in the UK. He also reckoned that Bangladesh are close to finalising the eventual squad for the mega-event.