SYLHET. — Bangladesh head coach Steve Rhodes has insisted that there was no need to push the panic button in the wake of his team’s loss in the Test series opener to Zimbabwe, who ended their 17-year wait for an overseas Test victory.
“I don’t feel pressure,” Rhodes told reporters in Sylhet.
“These guys are really determined to put things right and that’s what I love about the Bangladeshi dressing room.
“They keep surprising me and they keep bouncing back.
“Everybody has a bad day . . . we had a really bad day’s work in that first innings while batting,” he said.
Bangladesh were bundled out for 143 in their first innings in reply to Zimbabwe’s total of 282.
Although they managed to stay in the hunt thanks to a good bowling performance in the second essay, their batting let them down again as they were bowled out for less than 200 for the eighth time on the trot to end up losing the first Test by 151 runs.
“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.
“Then we needed 350 or 400 and if we didn’t get that score, then it was always going to be difficult batting last,” said Rhodes.
“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 added.
Following Bangladesh’s repeated batting failures, there have been calls for the selectors to take notice of performances in the domestic circuit, especially that of Tushar Imran, who hasn’t been considered ever since he was left out of the national team in 2007.
The 34-year-old Imran has been scoring heavily in first-class cricket, with as many as seven centuries coming off his bat this year alone.
But Rhodes defended the selection policy by mentioning that the current players in the national setup have also done well in domestic cricket and hence have justified their spots.
“In the NCL (first-class tournament) the guys that are playing now (in the national team) are scoring a lot of runs and they are actually scoring more runs than some of the guys that are being mentioned,” said Rhodes. “Shanto (Nazmul Hossain) made a 180, (Liton) Das made 200, Mominul (Haque) made 100 not out in his last game. Ariful (Haque) with a double century . . . so there is plenty of runs being scored there.
“And these are good guys, they are good players and at the moment I feel we’ve got our best players bar Tamim and Shakib, and so at the moment we are backing these guys.
“I will like a better result in the (second) Test match, but we will be working hard with the crop we have got,” he concluded.