DUBAI: Pakistan’s lack of confidence after two defeats against arch rivals gives hopes to Bangladesh coach, Steve Rhodes of a win in teams’ must win game in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
Rhodes, who played 11 Tests and nine one-day internationals for England, wants his team to exploit Pakistan’s lack of self belief.
“I think we have got a great chance,” said Rhodes, who took over as coach in June this year. “We very respect Pakistan as a team and they played really well to win the Champions Trophy not too long ago. Their tournament has been interesting. They’re possibly playing with lack of little bit of confidence and not quite the same confidence as they were in the Champions Trophy.”
Rhodes admitted Pakistan on their day can rattle any opposition, but they are still looking forward to the game and he is expecting it to be a cracker of a contest.
“They are still a very dangerous team on their day they can really put things together and play some good cricket. We are respectful to them as a team but we are also looking forward to the challenge,” he said.
“It’ll be a great contest. We wanted to be in this position when we set off from Bangladesh; try and beat Bangladesh and get through to a wonderful final against India,” he added.
Rhodes did not believe the tough schedule would hurt, saying it was the same for all the teams.
“They will be fine. It has been a tough schedule with lots of travel. Abu Dhabi is quite a long journey. We stay in the far end of Dubai so adds an half hour, so the travel and conditions are challenging.
“All the teams have managed to get through that and all the teams have been in the same position with regard to travelling and fatiguing. Last two days has been freshening up for the players – an optional training today and total day off yesterday. So they should be in a good frame of mind, physically and mentally certainly feeling a lot better.”
Bangladesh’s coach said that his batsmen will be up for the challenge thrown by Pakistan bowlers.
“Yes, they come with some challenges. They have a little more pace but the wicket at Abu Dhabi has tended to be on the slower side so hasn’t necessarily been in favour of fast bowlers, so that can be a good thing, the ball can come on to the ball well. ”
“Sometimes when the wicket is slow, facing medium-pacers might become a little more difficult. So because of the slowness of the wicket the ball will come nicely on the bat with their pace. That is what I’m hoping for,” he went on to say.
Former English wicketkeeper, Rhodes expects good starts from the Bangladesh openers.
“We would’ve love to get off to good starts. Every coach would want good starts but it doesn’t always happen. Sadly with Tamim breaking his finger in the first game, that was a big blow to us. But we picked Shanto and gave him an opportunity as he is a fine young talent like a lot of young batsmen we have. He has not quite done it yet so his place will be looked at
“I won’t be revealing the combination but of course it is a bit of a concern. You look at the last match against Afghanistan, we have fought fantastically well to dig out ourselves from the situations and we’ll be looking forward to doing that again. Of course we’d love to get good starts, it makes life a bit easier.