2018-11-19 08:21:35 BdST
Rhodes glad to have Sakib back
Bangladesh head coach Steve Rhodes on Sunday expressed his delight at getting regular Test skipper Sakib al Hasan back into the side for the two-match Test series against West Indies, starting on November 22 in Chattogram.
Sakib was out of all forms of cricket for last two months after aggravating his old finger injury during the Asia Cup in UAE in September that required an emergency surgery.
The all-rounder recovered from the injury sooner than he was expected, prompting the selectors to include him in the squad for West Indies series from the start.
‘[It’s] great to have him back,’ Rhodes told reporters at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram as the hosts completed their first practice session soon after they reached the port city.
The Englishman hailed the 31-year old as a master tactician and was optimistic to get a fully fit Sakib during the crucial Test series against the visiting side.
‘I will keep saying that Sakib is a masterful tactician. You know Riyad [Mahmudullah] did a great job as captain in Mirpur Test but somebody of Sakib’s stature, cleverness and tactical awareness as well as his batting and bowling, he is really important cog to successful Bangladesh team.
‘So we welcome him back with open arms. At the moment his finger seems fine and holding up you have seen today [Sunday]. He has a long 45-minute practice with bat in the nets. I think he is looking really good,’ he added.
Bangladesh passed a tough time in the absence of their key player Sakib during the recent Test series against Zimbabwe where they barely avoided a humiliating series defeat.
The Tigers lost the first Test by 151 runs in Sylhet before winning the second game by 218 runs to level the series.
Rhodes believed that his side hardly had anything to worry for the tougher opposition and would only focus on their own game that would help them winning the contest.
‘Zimbabwe made us fight all the way. Some people might be a little bit surprised with a 1-1 and hard fought series but I think it will do a lot of good before going into a contest against West Indies, who are obviously going to be a tough opposition,’ said Rhodes.
‘To be perfectly honest, we don’t have any concern at all. We are looking forward to the series. I think West Indies is an excellent opposition and we saw that when we were out there in July or June. But the conditions are little bit different here in Bangladesh.
‘And hopefully we will have really two good games against them. They have a few injury problems with Jason Holder going home.
‘We are not worrying too much about the opposition. I think we should never worry too much. I think what we should concern about is making sure our own game right. If we can get our own game right, we will go a long way to be competitive and hope for winning the game of cricket,’ he added.
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