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Rhodes confident Shakib will be fit for Bangladesh’s next game

Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan in action against England

Bangladesh coach Steve Rhodes expressed optimism that his star all-rounder Shakib al Hasan would be fit to play West Indies in Taunton next Monday after his team's World Cup match against Sri Lanka was washed out without a ball being bowled.

  • Bangladesh’s game with Sri Lanka in Bristol was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to rain
  • Shakib al Hasan is set to be fit for the next game after suffering with a thigh strain picked up against England

Shakib, the tournament's leading run scorer, sustained a thigh strain while scoring a century against England in the team's last group match last Friday.

He was due to be rested on Tuesday against Sri Lanka but Rhodes is confident the strain will not keep him out of the next game.

Rhodes said: "He picked up a little injury as you all know in that game against England and he fought on and battled on and played extremely well with an injury.

“We’re very, very optimistic that the treatment he will get this week and the way he can recover well that he can play in that next game against the West Indies.

Rhodes added it had been very frustrating to leave Bristol with just one point.

"We really felt we targeted that sort of game as two points. I know Sri Lanka would have fought very hard and they are no pushovers at all. But realistically what can we do about it? Absolutely nothing. And now all we can do is win our games coming up one at a time and just think of that."

Rhodes said the team expected short-pitched bowling not only from the West Indies but from other teams as well.

"I’m very, very happy with the way we’ve played, the white ball particularly when it’s short. I think you’ve seen some of our games and particularly against South Africa, that didn’t worry us. We’ve played against the West Indies’ bowlers recently as well out in Ireland and we’ve got some plans to try and deal with that.

"One of their most explosive players is Andre Russell and he’s a formidable opponent. He’s one of the best hitters in the game by far and on his day he can be very, very difficult to bowl at so he can take your game away from you.

"But they have others like all these international teams and we respect the opposition but we’re very pleased with the way we play the white ball and we know we’ve got some good players ourselves so we won’t be worrying too much about who we’re playing against and we’re going to be hopeful that they’re going to be worried about some of our players."

Rhodes was asked if he regretted not having a wrist spinner in the side to complement the finger spinners.

"If we had a very good wrist spinner in Bangladesh I’m pretty sure he would be here," he replied. "But we don’t pick people just for the sake of it. We’d much rather go into games with top quality bowlers than maybe someone who is substandard, not quite up to that level. You play your best XI, you play your best XI for that game, those conditions and we’ve always picked finger spinners and they’re good finger spinners and we’re very confident about their ability and what they can do."

The Bangladesh coach said he had relished the cricket played so far in the tournament with the bat not dominating the ball as had been predicted.

"Some of the boundaries are a bit bigger than expected, you see bigger outfields, bigger boundary hits for six and maybe less fours because there’s more twos or threes run.

"As far as the toss, I don’t think it will have a great deal of an effect, we’re getting a little bit later in the summer now and the white kookaburra doesn’t nip around as much as the red ones do in England. So whilst you may have a bit of movement and if, for example, it’s been under cover on the day before sweating up, but not a lot.

"But I’ve actually enjoyed that because I think it makes for a wonderful game of cricket. It brings the bowlers and the fielding side back into the game more and actually if you love your cricket there’s a bit of a game of chess going on out there rather than just biff biff."

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