There has been no honeymoon period to speak of for West Indies interim head coach Nic Pothas as the once-mighty Caribbean team lurch from one embarrassment to another. Pothas, a former South African player, was elevated to his current role from his previous one as fielding coach in the aftermath of Stuart Law quitting in late September. In his first assignment in charge, he has seen the team lose the Test series in Bangladesh in abject fashion.
Ahead of tomorrow's first ODI against Bangladesh in Mirpur, Pothas paid the opposition a compliment by saying that he wanted the Tigers' consistency in selection to lift the team out of the mire.
"I think Bangladesh have a very strong competition to be here, which is great grounding for players coming through. And the Bangladesh team has been very consistent," Pothas told reporters during an optional training session at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday. "When I say consistent, the players they choose, there is not a lot of change in the team so they know their roles very well. And that's what we are looking for -- we are looking to try and get a team that is pretty similar every time we put a team on the park, so that once you give a player a role he understands that well."
While West Indies are looking for continuity to achieve greater role definition, Bangladesh seemed to be mulling a happier predicament after the BCB XI rode on centuries from Soumya Sarkar and Tamim Iqbal to beat West Indies in the warm-up match at BKSP on Thursday. One of Bangladesh's few weak points in ODI cricket is the lack of a stable opening partner for Tamim, but the recent successes of Soumya, Liton Das and Imrul Kayes have given them a wealth of options.
“It is going to be tough decisions for the Bangladesh team management [to pick the openers], but what a wonderful position to be in," head coach Steve Rhodes, who made the trek to Savar to view his options, said after the practice game. "We are desperate for some depth of cricketers in Bangladesh and we are now showing that we have quite a few. Imrul got 349 runs against Zimbabwe and Tamim has come back to form. Liton Das got an 80-odd against Zimbabwe and not too long back, a hundred in the Asia Cup final. Soumya has got a hundred at No 3 and a hundred today.