Dhaka snub will get Bangladesh pacers hungry: Walsh

Dhaka snub will get Bangladesh pacers hungry: Walsh

 Sports Desk

 Published: 08:59 PM, 3 December 2018   Updated: 09:05 PM, 3 December 2018

Daily Bangladesh Desk

Daily Bangladesh Desk

Bangladesh bowling coach Courtney Walsh defended the hosts' ploy to employ a four-pronged spin attack, without a pace against Windies in the second Test. In the process, Bangladesh won the Dhaka Test by an innings and 184 runs and sealed the two-match series 2-0.

Explaining the logic behind the move, Walsh said, "We are here to win Test matches. Whatever surface we play on, whichever combination is the best to get Bangladesh to win Tests, I'm always happy with it. Back in the day when Windies used to dominate, they had four fast bowlers. Now Bangladesh is dominating with four spinners, so it is just a trend.

"The surface was never going to be fast bowler friendly. We thought the spinners would have a bigger role and that has proven to be the case."

The spin attack comprised of the experienced duo of Shakib Al Hasan and Taijul Islam, apart from youngsters Mehidy Hasan - who bagged 12 wickets in the match - and Nayeem Hasan. This came after Bangladesh pacers had managed to bag only 1 wicket in the last three home Tests.

Concerns were raised over the lack of confidence posed on the pace attack. However, Walsh believes it gives the pacers ample motivation to make themselves counted. "It is just one Test match that no fast bowler played. We had Fizz (Mustafizur) in one Test, we had Khaled (Ahmed) and Fizz in another Test. This was a Test to try to win the series. For me, it is not sending the wrong message. Tactically, we felt it was the best for Bangladesh to win without a fast bowler.

"It might be the first time one hasn't played, but the result matters. They should be disappointed at not playing, but it is not the end of the world or end of the road."

The focus now shifts to the New Zealand Test series, and the former Windies pacer believes it is there that they will get an opportunity to play a bigger part. "Mentally, they have to show more strength in practice, in the ODIs coming up and the tour of New Zealand. Someone has to say 'okay, I wasn't selected in a Test match but I have to make sure it doesn't happen again. Whenever it is seamer-friendly, my name is first on the paper'.

"Hopefully they will get them hungry. Our job as coaches is to get them ready for overseas conditions. The more you play, it is better. In this day and age you don't have the luxury so you have to be ready whenever you get the opportunity."

While things went well for Bangladesh who managed to turn around their fortunes at home after having been whitewashed in the Caribbean in June this year, the performance of the Windies hasn't impressed the legend pacer much. "As a West Indian, you are going to be disappointed in the performance, and saddened by the margin of defeat in India and here. You hope that after Bangladesh win all the series here and the West Indies leave, they will improve in those performances."

However, he is happy to be part of Bangladesh' setup as for now and is aiming to ensure the hosts maintain their dominance in the limited overs leg as well. The return of Mashrafe Mortaza and Rubel Hossain in the 50-over series bodes well for them, and their pace attack should have a bigger role to play in the one-dayers.

Walsh isn't willing to reveal his cards as yet, but said, "Mash and Rubel are back. Fizz is around. There are enough seamers in the squad but we don't know who might play. It depends on the type of surface we playing on. You want to win games and series and I think the more matches Bangladesh win, it will be better for the youngsters coming up."

Daily Bangladesh/Sohug