Rhodes predicts a tough World Cup for Bangladesh

Bangladesh head coach Steve Rhodes stayed ‘brutally honest’ about his team’s chance in the forthcoming ICC Cricket World Cup, stating that it would be tougher tournament for his charges given the strength of the teams in the showcase event.

“Let us be brutally honest. There are some very good teams going to the World Cup. For Bangladesh to do well, it will be tough,” Rhodes said here today.

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According to the format of the tournament, Bangladesh, ranked 7 at the ICC ODI rankings would have to play nine matches which means they need to be consistent should they want to make the cut in the knock-out stage. At least five wins can guarantee Bangladesh a ticket for the semifinal, which by any means a tougher job to do.

Bangladesh played quarter-final in last 2015 World Cup in Australia-New Zealand and later proved them a force to reckon with in global tournament by moving into the semifinal of ICC Champions Trophy in England in 2017.

In both cases they qualified to the knock out stages when the format was different as the teams were split into two groups to vie for the spot in the knock out stages.

Yet given their consistency in the ICC global event and the ability to beat the top guns of the world, Rhodes refused to give up and insisted on playing best cricket to materialize the hope of playing the semifinal.

“I do know that lot of these countries respect Bangladesh. They know that if they have an off day or even play well, Bangladesh are capable of beating sides. We have proved that in the past. Before I arrived, we got through the Champions Trophy. We have beaten West Indies in a couple of series.”

Rhodes believes the proper build-up for the World Cup will be the tri-nation series in Ireland, a series in which he plans to rotate the players to keep them fresh for the cricket’s biggest extravaganza.

The plan came to the fore given the fact that Bangladesh would have to out of the country for at least three months for those two events, which could cause mental and physical fatigue.

“We will try to mix it around a little bit in the tri-nation, but we have to be careful not to get too funky. If you get too clever, everything comes crashing down on you,” he said.

“We won’t make massive changes, but we will share around an odd position just to keep people fresh. I think the length of the tour is more of an issue than the amount of games. We need to keep people interested and fresh, so getting the right balance in practice and game is really important.”

For Bangladesh the main challenge would be to get the bowlers fit. Most of the bowlers are in rehab to get them fit ahead of the World Cup. Since the World Cup is predicted to be high scoring given the flat nature of English wicket, the bowlers would have to take a lot of burden, which Rhodes also addressed.

“It is far more difficult for bowlers in England. The wickets are flat. Sides that can bowl people out, will be having hay day. Our style is to contain and squeeze to pick up wickets. We may need to score bigger totals, but it is a lot easier to do that in England.

The outfields are fast. The wickets are generally flat and come on to the bat for good shots. This is why you see big scores in England.”

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