Bangladesh pace bowling coach Courtney Walsh oversaw the progress of the Tigers fast bowlers in the bowling camp and encouraged his charges to be more consistent in the future.
The West Indies great talked to the media in Mirpur's Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Tuesday where he reviewed the recent development of the Bangladesh pacers.
Here are the excerpts:
How do you assess the bowling camp?
It is the first chance I have had to really do any serious work with them (bowlers). Since my arrival, they have been in competition so it is hard to do a lot of stuff while they are playing games. So contrary to what a lot of people are writing and saying, that I have changed actions, nothing of that sort has happened. We are just providing more encouragement and trying to help. Now this is a chance to correct whatever mistakes we saw in the horizon. This is one of the reasons why I came a bit earlier, to try to correct them as best as I can, in terms of working with the players.
Progress has been made, but unfortunately we have been having some bad weather so not as much progress has been made as I would have liked. But whenever we can, we are going outdoors. We are having meetings inside, just discussing cricket and trying to get the cricket brain sharp.
What basics do they have to learn?
One of the main basics is consistency. They’ve not been as consistent as they should be or can be. It comes with experience but unfortunately we don’t tour often. It is not a major jump they have to take but it is about consistency and control. Then their confidence level will go up. They are willing to work hard, which is a big plus.
Is their young age a relative advantage?
That’s the biggest plus. They are still young enough to grasp what’s going on. And you’re going to learn from different conditions. Touring has helped as they are seeing the difference between New Zealand and India. They now know the adjustment that has to be made.
The most seasoned campaigner we have is Mash (Mashrafe bin Mortaza). He knows the conditions. He has been passing on whatever advice and tips he can to the youngsters. They are all eager to learn.
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'Fizz and Taskin can complement each other. Fast bowlers do hunt in pairs, and it is good for them to start thinking this way now as youngsters,' says Walsh DHAKA TRIBUNE
What is your take on Mustafizur Rahman’s adjustments?
I noticed he was falling away a little bit in England. We have been trying to get him to be more upright and balanced, so that he can pull through. We are also trying to get back his pace to where it used to be, and get him a little bit closer to the stumps. He knows what needs to be done as well. I have to give him credit, because he is eager to get out there and practise perfectly. He wants to be the best there is and he is a special talent. This weather has frustrated him as well, because we were making progress. He has what it takes to correct what’s happening, and I am sure he will come out better.
I wouldn’t say he will have a new bowling action but we are trying to get him more balanced at the crease, and get him a bit closer to the stumps. I will not be trying to change his action unless I think that’s required. Because of the operation, he was falling away a little bit. He has recognised it. Last couple of days, he has been close to what he used to be. He is heading in the right direction. There won’t be any massive changes.
What are your thoughts on Taskin Ahmed’s drop in pace?
He is trying to get consistent. I think he wasn’t hitting the areas that he wanted to. We want him to bowl fast, because he has the pace and he can utilise it. He has to have controlled aggression, and he has to be able to put the ball in the right area to make that pace count.
Your remarks on Kamrul Islam Rabbi...
We have to do a little bit more work with him. Rabbi is keen to do well. The guys recognise they might get more opportunities when they go abroad. The programme has been put in place to get everybody fit and upto par. Bangladesh cricket will benefit from this competitiveness of the young fast bowlers wanting to get into the team.
Does your coaching stint remind you of your playing days?
It has been a tremendous experience. It is good to get back into the international scene, passing on whatever knowledge you have to these youngsters who are very exciting. I am happy to be a part of their development.
You had a great partnership with Ambrose. Do you think the fast bowlers need to work as a pair?
That’s exactly what we were talking about in the meeting [Tuesday]. Fast bowlers hunt in pairs and pass information and communicate. I think we had eight of them in the room; they got the message. Fizz and Taskin can complement each other. Fast bowlers do hunt in pairs, and it is good for them to start thinking this way now as youngsters. What used to happen was that instead of complementing each other, they used to compete. What helped myself and Curtly Ambrose was that we helped each other. We tried to out-think the batsmen.
There are chances that Champaka Ramanayake might be involved with the Tigers coaching staff. What are your thoughts on that?
Anything that can help Bangladesh cricket, I am a supporter of. It is not official but I heard that he is coming so he is someone I have known. I will be welcoming him with open arms. We can work together to improve Bangladesh cricket.
What do you want as a pace bowling coach from this camp?
I want to see more consistency, control, variation and more thoughts into what they are doing. They are young and exciting but if we can get them a little bit more consistent and keep the pace up, it'll be good. Once they get onto the park they have to do it, we can’t do it for them. I have been telling them that, ‘You are in control of your own destiny, just go out there and get the job done. Try to improve and learn all the time’. If they can achieve the first part – control and consistency – before competition starts, I will be very happy.