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POST TIME: 7 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Rhodes believes young players would also play their due role
Sports Reporter

Rhodes believes young players would also play their due role

Bangladesh head coach Steve Rhodes looks unfazed by the talk revolving around the performances of the players other than the ‘Fab Five’ as he believes the players, popularly termed as ‘young players’ are in good nick and will do their job perfectly in future.

The ‘Fab Five’ that included Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah Riyad continuously carried the team to their shoulder when the junior players’ performance started taking nosedive as the days progressed.

Rhodes however trashed the notion, announcing that “I am not concerned totally” as he reminded the performance of Liton Das in the last T20 match against West Indies.

“If I was in Liton Das’ shoes at the moment, I’d be very happy. He played a wonderful knock in the last T20 against West Indies, which was like a final. I am sure he feels confident. The other guys are hitting it well in practice,” Rhodes said yesterday.

“Mithun has been a late inclusion in the side. He has forced his way into the side in the back of performances in Ireland with the ‘A team’, as well as impressing people in the camp,” he added.

“We are delighted to have young players of that caliber. They need to stand up, and I am sure the expectation will be very strong for them to stand up. But I am very happy and confident they are in good nick and will do a good job.”

While he oozes confidence with the young players, Rhodes also dismissed any ‘fear factor’ regarding Afghanistan who whitewashed Bangladesh in a three-match T20 series in June this year.

“I don’t think there’s a fear factor. I think we should respect Afghanistan. Some quality cricketers play for Afghanistan,” he said, adding that Afghanistan also would be wary about Bangladesh backlash.

“They will be respectful of our cricketers too, even though they beat us in the T20s. It will be a really good contest. Afghanistan are a tough team. The T20 is their better format. We are not going to take that game lightly, at all. We have to be on top of our game against them and Sri Lanka.”

Even though captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza refused to thin too far ahead and wanted to concentrate on first match to gain the momentum, Rhodes was bold in his assessment as he would like to believe that Bangladesh could be champions in Asia Cup.

“I think it would be a wonderful achievement for us to win the Asia Cup. We are going there full of confidence. We are ranked higher than the West Indies but those were still tough games. Winning there gave the team a lot of confidence,” Rhodes said.

“We have two games to qualify, which is the most important thing. We shouldn’t assume that we will get into the next group. We play well against Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, then it will add to the confidence. Then if we are in the last stages of the tournament, why wouldn’t you believe that you could win?”