Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

Bumpy Gives Rundown On Bangladesh Experience And Its Benefits

Bumpy Gives Rundown On Bangladesh Experience And Its Benefits

Steve Rhodes is back at the helm at New Road after nearly a month as part of the England coaching set-up – and believes Worcestershire CCC and himself will reap the benefits of the experience in Bangladesh.

The County's Director Of Cricket worked alongside the likes of England head coach Trevor Bayliss, Mark Ramprakash and Otis Gibson for the spin dominated two-Test series which ended in a thrilling 1-1 draw.

Rhodes was able to pick the brains and observe this trio in addition to the likes of skipper Alastair Cook as well as working with the squad's two wicket-keepers in Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler.

The trip also brought a reunion with several former Worcestershire players and-or officals in Phil Neale, Shakib Al Hasan and ex CEO David Leatherdale, now the chief executive of the Profesisonal Cricketers' Association.

Here Rhodes looks back on the trip in a question and answer session with the Worcestershire CCC website as he prepares for a busy winter working with the Worcestershire coaches, staff and players in readiness for the 2017 campaign.


Question: Steve, how was the Bangladesh trip for yourself?

Steve Rhodes: "It served its purpose for me definitely which was to learn as much as I could from 1) the experience of being involved with an international Test team, 2) to observe and work alongside the likes of Trevor Bayliss, who is obviously a very experienced international coach.

"But also the other coaches like Otis Gibson, who himself has had a taste of international coaching, as well as Mark Rampakash, always a good brain to pick about batting.

"Similarly the professional staff that go a little bit unnoticed which is the various physiotherapists and strength and conditioning coaches and even the club doctor, analyst and masseur.

"These are all people who have been involved for quite a while and they are very experienced support staff which means you can pick their brains and learn from them.

"I suppose most importantly, watching how Alastair Cook goes about 1) his captaincy as well as 2) his own preparation for matches as a batsman – and the likes of Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes and all these guys.

"It is no fluke why they are good cricketers. They work hard and, although they've obviously got very special talents, mentally they are very strong as well."


Question: What was your role in the set-up?

Steve Rhodes: "I was there as a coaching assistant really. If anything needed doing, I was there to pick up the pieces.

"I did some one to one work there with the wicket-keepers, Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow but generally it was to assist in all elements of the coaching and making sure it went smoothly.

"Obviously Paul Farbrace was missing. That was the reason I went, to give him a little breather and now he has come back and joined the tour of India and that sort or relationshiop, which is strong between Trevor and Paul, is ready to flourish again."


Question: It must have been quite an experience with things like the major security surrounding the trip and the extreme temperatures?

Steve Rhodes: "Good points there. The security was amazing. The Bangladesh government and cricket board did an amazing job to put on such a show of presence.

"If there was ever going to be any trouble, they were ready and prepared for it. To walk out to the team bus, with armed police and special forces and the army themselves, and the entourage convoy taking you to games and practice, the security presence was very large.

"They closed a lot of streets and they were lined with police all the way to the stadium so it was a really good presence and Bangladesh were determined to ensure the tour went off okay and it certainly did in that respect.

"The heat, was mid to late 30s, out in the middle it would have been late 30s, and also very, very humid so you had to get used to sweating, the normal things that happen in hot and humid countries and after a week-10 days your body does acclimatise and get used to that sort of thing.

"But it was a great experience and definitely one I enjoyed and there was a lot I took out of it for my own coaching purposes and moving forward for Worcestershire."


Question: Worcestershire then will reap the benefits as well as England?

Steve Rhodes: "Definitely. It was quite extreme conditions and quite extreme cricket, a bit upside down cricket really with the spinners opening the bowling and your pacemen were bowling with the older ball.

"It was different cricket for our batters to face on those wickets and because of that, that made us put a lot of thought in how to play spin and how to bowl in those conditions.

"I learnt a lot through watching, observing, chatting to Cooky, and Rooty, but also from the side-lines being able to spend time studying and working out potentially ways of coping and scoring runs which is most important, scoring runs."


Question: It was also quite a reunion for you as well with people like Phil Neale and Shakib Al Hasan?

Steve Rhodes: "It was good to spend a bit of time with Phil again, my old captain at Worcestershire. He does a fantastic job on the operational side of England cricket.

"Shakib, who had two spells as a player at Worcestershire, he hasn't changed much. He is still the same person. He had his family with him and myself and him had dinner one night which was great.

"I also caught up on a few occasions with another former Worcestershire player in Thilan Samaraweera who is now Bangladesh's batting coach.

"Obviously Mo (Moeen Ali) was there and David Leatherdale was there. I hadn't seen him for a while and he was there for a week and I caught up with him on a few of the nights just to talk about the PCA a little bit and how we are at Worcestershire because he has been a very busy bloke since he left here."