Pace bowling has been the biggest reason behind Bangladesh’s inspiring rise in international cricket since the last couple of years. The team always had the services of some smart spinners in their arsenal, but the results hardly went their way. It was finally skipper Mashrafe Mortaza, who brought forward a turnaround as he encouraged the use of fast bowlers to revolutionize the sport in Bangladesh.
The results were there for one to see. After a notable show in the 2015 World Cup, where pacers Rubel Hossain and Taskin Ahmed impressed, the emergence of the wily Mustafizur Rahman just changed things completely. After winning ODI series’ at home against Pakistan, India, and South Africa, ending up as runners-up in the 2016 T20 Asia cup was another high.
Recently, former West Indian pace legend Courtney Walsh was appointed as Bangladesh’s bowling coach. Limited overs skipper Mashrafe Mortaza admitted that he was pretty excited to work alongside Walsh. “If we can learn a bit from his vast experience, it would be very helpful for us,” Mashrafe said. “Pace bowling has a major role in a team taking 20 wickets in a Test match, so I feel that our boys can learn from him how to go about it. His passion, the way he handled the situation, these are key things that we can all take from him.”
“We don’t have bowlers like Dale Steyn in our team. Our bowling attack needs to do well for a number of years, and not just now. We need a bowler who would take 300 Test wickets, so for that, one has to perform for a sustained period. There must be ways how that can happen, and I think we learn that from him,” Mortaza further added.
The Bangladesh captain mentioned that endurance was a key factor for which he looked up to Walsh. “One of the reasons why I admired him was his endurance,” Mashrafe said. “His run-up was so smooth that they said even the umpire couldn’t hear him running in. There was always a smile on his face. He was a great character. I think we can learn from him how to stay fit. “If everyone wants to learn from him eagerly, then they can get a lot out of a coach, because they are always trying to help you,” he concluded.