Bangladesh news

Streak prioritises grooming pacers

Mohammad Isam

June 3, 2014

Comments: 13 | Text size: A | A
Mashrafe: A bowler should reach out to the new coach

Heath Streak, Bangladesh's newly appointed bowling coach, wants to decrease Bangladesh's dependency on spin by creating a core group of fast bowlers. Streak has said he also keen to embrace the wider role of finding new talent and make them ready for the top-level.

Streak, the former Zimbabwe captain, arrived in Dhaka on Tuesday evening. He will work 450 days during the next two years, and will be in charge of overall bowling which includes the senior side as well as Bangladesh A and the National Cricket Academy.

"I think it is dangerous to set specific targets as you might get it done quickly and become happy," Streak said in his introductory press conference in Mirpur. "I would like to identify a group of eight or ten quick bowlers. We know spin bowling has been strong for Bangladesh. We can't relax and expect for that to continue.

"I have to learn a lot about the bowlers. I have analysed these players as an opponent both as player and coach, but now I have to understand them as individuals and personalities. The mental side of the things is what I want to work on with the guys."

Streak has asked for patience, at least till the 2015 World Cup to find improvement within the bowlers. Mashrafe Mortaza is the highest Test and ODI wicket-taker among Bangladesh pace bowlers, but his catalogue of injuries has repeatedly kept him out of action since his debut in 2001. But apart from Mashrafe, none of the pace bowlers have more than 67 ODI wickets while in Test cricket, only Mashrafe and Shahadat Hossain have more than 50 wickets.

"I know there are huge expectations, the India series is coming up soon," Streak said. "But it doesn't matter who you are, these things take time. Experience doesn't happen overnight, you cannot go to a shopping mall and buy experience. Hopefully by the World Cup we can see some consistency among the bowlers."

Bangladesh's highest wicket-takers in international cricket (2013-14)
Bowler Matches Wickets Average Eco SR 5-fors 10-fors
Rubel Hossain 39 54 41.94 4.42 56.8 1 0
Mashrafe Mortaza 28 30 33.30 6.03 33.1 0 0
Shafiul Islam 28 27 36.77 5.04 43.7 0 0
Robiul Islam 11 25 35.92 3.29 65.3 2 0
Al-Amin Hossain 14 18 35.11 4.70 44.7 0 0

Youngster Taskin Ahmed recovered from a long injury lay-off after which he was handed an international debut in the World T20s. Al-Amin Hossain showed steady improvement under Shane Jurgensen while Robiul Islam gave a glimpse of his ability during the Zimbabwe Test series last year in which he was the man of the series. Rubel Hossain's ODI hat-trick last year underlined his improvement as an ODI bowler but his Test record remains poor. So far this year, eight pace bowlers (including allrounders) have been used by Bangladesh, but none of them have taken more than 15 wickets.

Streak is eager to instill a sense of professionalism among the Bangladesh bowlers, particularly by understanding their lifestyle. At the same time he hopes to identify more talented bowlers within the pipeline, and give them the best opportunities to understand conditions in other parts of the world.

"Firstly, I believe there are a couple of young guys coming through, so I am really keen to look at them," he said. "Obviously getting them to become professionals, how they eat, train is a long term thing, so we need to start that now to develop these guys and see that they are physically good enough to cope with the international level. You see many youngsters whose bodies are not strong enough to cope with the international schedule, so that's a key thing that we are going to have work with.

"You have to identify the future and identify them from a young age. It is the part of the challenge. I will work with the new coach and see where we can start to identify those bowlers for the future. We might have to convince the BCB to invest and put them abroad so that they can experience conditions there," he said.

Bangladesh's highest wicket-takers in first-class cricket (2013-14)
Bowler Matches Wickets Average Eco SR 5-fors 10-fors
Subashis Roy 10 28 30.67 3.34 55.0 0 0
Abu Jayed 7 23 26.78 3.67 43.7 1 0
Sajedul Islam 7 23 18.08 2.88 37.6 1 0
Shahadat Hossain 8 22 26.13 3.82 41.0 0 0
Mohammad Sharif 7 21 25.47 4.28 35.6 1 0

Streak will team up with Chandika Hathurusingha, Bangladesh's new head coach, who is set to join the squad next week. He said it is paramount that the pair puts forward a similar message to the team.

"I have to make it work, I am under him," he said. "I have got to make sure my coaching philosophies and his [Hathurusingha] are going to merge together. It is to our benefits at the end of the day. If teams don't perform it's us coaches who get judged.

"When he reaches here in a few days time I will certainly be spending time with him. Hopefully he and I will have a good understanding. It's not just the players that need to be a good team, the coaching staff need to be unified. We have to give the same message to the players. It's important for them to get one consistent message," he said.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

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Posted by wapuser on (June 7, 2014, 2:05 GMT)

Go ahead Streak..........wish you all the best for your new project & its successes. Cheers!!

Posted by mshyder on (June 4, 2014, 16:56 GMT)

Realistically speaking even more established subcontinent team struggle on tours in pacer friendly conditions, so it would be asking too much from BD to win on tours. Immediate target should be to least have some wins on home ground, where the pacers are only required to take few early wickets and create opening for the spinners to do the rest. Thus what BD need are a couple of wicket taking / match winning spinners and more importantly they need at least 3/4 batsmen who can stay at the wicket and play test cricket like 5 day matches and not like 50 overs' match.

Posted by   on (June 4, 2014, 15:47 GMT)

@Rohit Ramesh, if teams like Bangladesh are to win more games, they need to have more tools under their belt. If there are no pacer friendly wickets, BD will not be able to defeat the subcontinent teams (In tests) because they play spin so well. The batsmen also need to learn how to bat in pace friendly conditions. Bangladesh batting order often collapses badly when the opposition has some pace bowlers with good pace. In test matches, pace bowling gets you the wickets in the first 3/4 days. Spin friendly pitches often backfire because most teams have better spinners than BD. Rather, BD should look to get test pitches with both pace and spin but with less venom.

Posted by Fogu on (June 4, 2014, 12:20 GMT)

We need to have balance but Spin will be our strong suit. Except for Mashrafe, we do not have any international quality fast bowlers that can hold their own. We don't need pace bowlers to be like Aussie but we also don't want them to lose the game for us. Any improvement in pace bowling will only help the spinners be more effective and reduce the pressure off the batsmen. Good luck to you Mr. Streak. We pray that you are successful beyond your wildest imagination. Go Tigers!

Posted by   on (June 4, 2014, 8:11 GMT)

So many people here are obsessed with changing the pitches and that really disappoints. Take a look at the other side. Aus, NZ, Eng and NZ hardly have a decent spinner and tend to get mauled when they come to the subcontinent. Does anybody tell them to prepare dry turners? Teams from the subcontinent need to take some pride in the fact that we have the best spinners (Ashwin, Jadeja, Ajmal, Herath, Sachitra, Shakib ...) rather than obsessing about overseas wins. I don't see anyone complaining of the dreadful record of non subcontinent teams in the subcontinent. The thing that makes cricket challenging is the different conditions. True champion teams need to conquer them all. So far only the WI of 1980s and Aus of 2000s have done that. If anyone is suggesting pitches are the reason for no pace bowlers I suggest taking a look at Pakistan. It would be a shame if every pitch was green because the skilful art of spin bowling would disappear.

Posted by Shajadul on (June 3, 2014, 21:51 GMT)

Best of luck...I hope BD gets 3-5 good pace bowlers...

Posted by TheRisingTeam on (June 3, 2014, 21:04 GMT)

The problem is BCB. They do not do anything regarding the pitches in Bangladesh. Why would a fast bowler want to bowl on these slow-low pitches? these pitches have nothing for them and causes disinterest. Yes of course International matches we can play on these low spinning surfaces but when it comes to domestically, Bangladesh need to have half their grounds suited for pacers with lots of grass and bounce. Only way Bangladesh can seriously become better on the big stage.

Posted by Jawwad123 on (June 3, 2014, 19:13 GMT)

Yep I think we've finally got the right man for the job :)

Posted by   on (June 3, 2014, 16:54 GMT)

I think he knows what to do.

Posted by   on (June 3, 2014, 16:47 GMT)

Local conditions need pitches that encourage pace bowlers. It would not only benefit our bowlers but also batsmen who struggle against pace. Our top order (batsmen) struggle a lot! (and we probably have the worst top order compared to any other Test Playing Countries) - the average runs scored is pathetic! The same is true about our pace bowlers.

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