Bangladesh head coach Steve Rhodes. @ Getty Images
Bangladesh head coach Steve Rhodes. @ Getty Images

Whitewashed in the three-match ODI series and in the two T20Is against South Africa, Zimbabwe step foot on Bangladesh soil where they will be involved in three ODIs and two Tests beginning with the first ODI on October 21. Bangladesh head coach Steve Rhodes, who took over the side in June this year, expects a tough challenge from the visitors.

“Zimbabwe got a beating in South Africa. No team likes that. I expect a wounded animal,” Rhodes was quoted as saying in Cricbuzz on Thursday.

“They will be fighting for their [pride] and I expect tough opposition. They may turn it on against us after the kick-back from South Africa. We are very guarded, but we are also very determined to try and play our best cricket.

Bangladesh will be without experienced campaigners, Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan, who are nursing injuries, but Rhodes feels their absence will be a test for the other players.

“We know we are two players light. Our process will be to make sure that we do our duty well. We don’t have to worry about the opposition. I see it as a real positive. It is opportunities for other people.

“If those guys grab their chance, it would show we have depth in our squad. If there is competition for places, people will always try to perform at their best. It is a healthy thing. We want depth,” he said.

Rhodes is expecting a good show from Ariful Haque, is yet to make a debut, but was part of the 15-member Asia Cup squad. “Ariful is definitely a player we would like to see. If we don’t test them out, how do we know if they are any good or not?” he said.

“I think No. 7 is absolutely crucial in a good cricket team. It is massive, psychologically, if we have one batsmen after another coming out. It also means you can chase well. England have a long batting line-up right down to No. 9 and 10,” the former England wicketkeeper said.