'Need Test bowlers who can hit the deck' | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 10, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 10, 2018

'Need Test bowlers who can hit the deck'

His tenure started in tumultuous fashion with a drubbing in the Test series, and although the gloom lifted soon afterwards under the Caribbean sun in the ODI and T20I series wins against West Indies, new Bangladesh coach Steve Rhodes's words upon returning to the country showed that he had not forgotten the abysmal performances that started the tour.

That sentiment reverberated during the impromptu press conference at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport yesterday morning after a section of the team returned to the capital. The general feeling on both sides of the microphone was of satisfaction because of the two series wins, but that was tinged with concern about how thoroughly Bangladesh were outclassed in the Tests.

"The Test series was tough, we took a bit of a beating but very proud of the way the boys have come back strong," said the Englishman.

"Winning the one-dayers was something we quite fancied. The T20s were a bit of a surprise, we really did play well in the second and third games and are delighted to bring home two series trophies, which is a great effort."

The new coach did not agree that the bowling was inconsistent through the tour; instead saying that it was impressive in the limited-overs leg while not as much in the longer version.

"In the ODIs and the T20s both captains handled their bowlers magnificently -- Mashrafe [Bin Mortaza] and Shakib [Al Hasan] -- both of them worked their bowlers really well," he said. "We got some quality spin bowlers and some of the pace bowling was excellent and it proved to be better than the West Indies. In the Test matches we obviously need to find a couple of quicker bowlers -- bowlers who will hit the wicket, which is what the West Indian bowlers did."

The team failed to cross 200 in any of the four Test innings and were all out for 43 -- their lowest total -- in the first Test in Antigua. It was not surprising, therefore, that Rhodes identified that as an area for improvement.

"Our batting was exposed a little bit in the Test matches. Generally I think we need to tidy up a little bit and try and improve our Test match batting. We've got quality players; we just need to adapt to the conditions and the opposition a little bit quicker in Test matches when we're playing away from home.

"I think in the first Test match losing the toss was crucial. The wicket seamed and bounced and swung. And of course the West Indies attack with the Dukes cricket ball... [Jason] Holder is a very useful bowler, and obviously the likes of [Kemar] Roach, who took the wickets, and Shannon Gabriel and [Miguel] Cummins... they are a useful outfit. So most lineups would have struggled on that first Test in Antigua."

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