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Walsh's pace camp to focus on consistency, mental strength

Mustafizur Rahman bowls in the presence of Courtney Walsh AFP

Bangladesh's bowling coach Courtney Walsh will brief pace bowlers in a week-long camp on how to prepare for certain match situations. Becoming more consistent and mentally strong are other areas in focus as they prepare for the Nidahas Trophy T20s in March, which involves India and hosts Sri Lanka. The camp started on Friday and will go on until March 2.

Bangladesh's pace bowlers have come under increased scrutiny after their failure to stop Sri Lanka batsmen in the two T20s that rounded up a miserable home season for Bangladesh. Sri Lanka won the T20 series by putting up scores of 194 and 210, and losing eight wickets across the two matches. As a result, BCB president Nazmul Hassan ordered a special training camp for the pace bowlers, under Walsh, which includes Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed and Rubel Hossain among the 14.

"We are working on the mental side of bowling in the camp," Walsh said. "They have to back themselves and keep it simple. In my assessment, that's what has happened in the last series. The guys went a little bit over the top in terms of trying a bit too hard. They have to know what best to do in a situation and how to execute it. If they get the consistency, eight out of ten times it will work in your favour. We are trying to get them to be consistent and remain relaxed with the execution."

Walsh said that the camp will also take the bowlers back to basics, to give them a better understanding of pace bowling, and at the same time work on their consistency. "We haven't bowled as consistently as we would have liked so this camp is to focus on that. They have to understand their roles in the upcoming tour.

"The camp is also to make them know what fast bowling is all about, and the hard work that is required. It is a combination of both. We are trying to keep it simple. We are focused on the consistency, working on the skill-set and get a better understanding of it."

The camp includes six uncapped pace bowlers, some of whom appeared in the BPL in November last year. After initially seeing what they bring to the table, Walsh said these young pace bowlers, whom he is seeing for the first time, will be taken through the rigours.

"It is the first time I am seeing some of these guys properly," he stated. "To look at them today was to assess them and see what they have. Over the next few days, we will be doing specific work on individuals. They have to improve their departments.

"If they are weak in any department, we will work on it. If they are strong, we will get them to be stronger. It is to develop the overall skill of the player. At the end of the day, I am here to make Bangladesh cricket as best as it can be, and for the bowlers to be a lot more consistent."