Bang vs SL – Pothas calls for patience towards young Bangladesh batters

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Bangladesh’s young batters are in the early stages of their Test careers and those watching them will need to be patient, says assistant coach Nic Pothas who is standing infor the team’s head coach Chandika Hathurusinghe in the second Test against Sri Lanka in Chattogram.

Bangladesh were thrashed by 328 runs in the first Test in Sylhet earlier this week. Only Mominul Haque made a half-century as the hosts were bowled out for under 200 in both innings for the second successive Test.

“We have a very young and inexperienced group (of batters),” Pothas said. “There was a very elite group before this. Now we have to rebuild. The only thing that we request is that people are patient. These are very good young players, but they are young and they are playing against an experienced team and it will take time to learn lessons.

“We wouldn’t expect any different from our children when we put them into new environments. We don’t expect our kids to suddenly be experts. That’s why they go to school. So they’re a fantastic group and let’s judge them in two years’ time rather than now.”

Pothas said Bangladesh’s young players have the foundation in place for growth. They have created a happy dressing-room environment where everyone trusts each other.

“From a hunger point of view, they want to do really well in the Test. They always really want to do well. They are a fantastic group. They get on very, very well. You can just see by smiles on their faces.

“I think the important thing for us as a management group is to manage the mood of the group. As long as we are level[-headed], then we will learn, but we certainly aren’t an emotional group. It is not an emotional change room. The change room is very, very helpful.”

“I think any team that has Shakib in it is very fortunate,” Pothas said. “We welcome him back. It is always great to have him in the change room. His energy is very infectious. He has a lot of experience for the guys to learn from and whenever Shakib is back, he’s a giver. So we really enjoy having him around the group.

“When Shakib comes into the group, it creates calmness. You know, it also supplies [captain Najmul Hossain] Shanto with an extra person he can get advice from. A very, very experienced person on the field. He just brings calm. He is a world-class cricketer.”

Bangladesh will also hope for Litton Das to improve his form. His second-innings dismissal in Sylhet, a first-ball charge that resulted in a catch when Bangladesh were 37 for 4, was heavily criticised.

“We have had conversations. Litton is in a good space,” Pothas said. “The trouble that we generally have is that the pressure on Litton comes from the outside. If we just leave Litton to be Litton, I think he’ll show you the best of him.

“If we keep jumping on his back in the media and on social media, we forget that just because these guys are very able cricketers and they appear on television, at the root they’re still human beings. If we treat them like human beings and allow him to do what’s best for him, I promise you he’ll show you results.”

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