Bangladesh coach Steve Rhodes on Wednesday vowed to bounce back from their humiliating defeat in the first Test against Zimbabwe to level the series in the second Test in Dhaka.
Zimbabwe thrashed Bangladesh by 151 runs in the first Test in Sylhet to post their first away win in 17 years and go 1-0 up in the two-Test series.
Bangladesh made only 143 runs in the first innings in response to Zimbabwe 282 and were bowled out for 169 runs in the second innings before tea on the fourth day after the visitors set them a target of 321 runs.
The twin failures with the bat, which came after an average of 123 runs in their previous six Test innings, raised question about the players’ ability in longer version cricket.
Aware that a similar result in the second Test in Dhaka starting on Sunday would be a catastrophe for Bangladesh, Rhodes said players were determined to make a turnaround.
‘These guys are really determined to put things right and that’s what I love about the Bangladeshi dressing room,’ Rhodes said while speaking to reporters in Sylhet.
‘They keep surprising me and they keep bouncing back… they will fight in the next Test match.’
Rhodes, however, refused to disclose any plan, adding that he did not feel any pressure yet to win.
‘We will keep them close to our chest. I don’t see any reason to give away too much,’ he said about team’s plan in the second Test.
‘We want to play a game of cricket to win and you guys want us to win.’
Rhodes lamented the team’s first innings batting in Sylhet, which cost the team the game.
‘Certainly the only thing that went wrong in this game was our batting in the first innings. We lost the toss when there was not much happening and we did a great job in bowling them out for 282,’ he said.
‘Then we needed 350 or 400 and if we didn’t get that score then it was always going to be difficult batting last.
‘So we missed an opportunity in our first innings batting and there was nothing wrong with our plans or tactics, we just made a mess of it in our first innings.
‘To get rolled for 140 and be a 140 behind, going into the third innings of the game was quite disastrous for us.
‘It’s something we will have to put right, whatever happens at Mirpur with our plans,’ he said.
Rhodes believed a change in the team would provide no solution.
Selectors were heavily criticised for ignoring some of the players, who did well in the ongoing National Cricket League.
The repeated snubbing of batsman Tushar Imran, who made runs consistently in all domestic first-class tournaments, raised few eyebrows as Bangladesh’s regular batsmen kept failing.
Rhodes argued that some of his charges also scored heavily in few NCL matches that they played.
‘The guys that are playing now [in the national team] are scoring a lot of runs in the NCL. They are actually scoring more runs than some of the guys that are being mentioned,’ he said.
‘Shanto [ Nazmul Hossain] made a 180 , [Liton]Das made 200 , Mominul made 100 not out in his last game. Ariful with a double century… so there are plenty of runs.
‘And this are good guys, they are good players and at the moment I feel we’ve got our best players bar Tamim [Iqbal] and Sakib and so at the moment we are backing these guys.
‘We will try and put things right with the players we’ve got.’