Courtney Walsh has laid down the marker for Bangladesh's pace bowlers, asking them to be more confident in the heat of battle. The interim head coach said that although the young bowlers are told what to do during training and when they are planning in the change rooms, how they react to tough situations is what matters.
Bangladesh are heading to Dehradun later this week to play a three-match T20 series against Afghanistan. In their last international assignment, in the Nidahas Trophy, only Rubel Hossain and Mustafizur Rahman stood out among the pace bowlers although Rubel did finish poorly in the final. Mustafizur too has had an under-par IPL campaign.
Taskin Ahmed got dropped after doing poorly in Sri Lanka, while Abu Jayed and Abu Hider are rookies who haven't really got too many opportunities.
"I think it is a case of not being confident enough to execute," Walsh said, "They have to back themselves, to execute the team plan. There should also be a thought process about what they want to do. Once you are in the middle, you have to get the job done. The person who is bowling has to be confident enough and one of the ways of doing it is to be consistent.
"If you are bowling in your areas and a good shot is played, that's fine. You have to know what is required during competition time. We can talk about it in the dressing room and in practice, but when you are in the middle, unfortunately you [by yourself] have got to deliver."
Walsh said that after being hit for 22 runs in the penultimate over of the Nidahas Trophy final, Rubel will now be better prepared knowing full well what to expect in such a situation. "I think all of the guys have rallied around him. He was one of the better bowlers on show. In the match situation, it just takes one bad delivery or a bad over to change the whole complexion of the game.
"Rubel had one bad over and it probably cost us the trophy, but these things do happen in cricket. The good thing is that, he was trying what he wanted to do. The batsman was just probably better on the day. If it happens again, though, Rubel is better equipped or has more options to think about what he wants to do."
Apart from the pace bowlers, Bangladesh are also without a coach to specifically look at their batting in the build-up to the Afghanistan T20s and during the series itself. This hasn't happened before; after Chandika Hathurusingha left, the BCB asked Simon Helmot, the High Performance head coach, to take the batting consultant's job, but he is currently working for Sunrisers Hyderabad at the IPL. With the BCB unable to fill that position yet, it is down to the senior batsmen to take responsibility.
Mahmudullah, the T20 vice-captain, said that they have to take charge of the situation. "We have spoken about it at the start of this camp, how this is a big opportunity to take responsibility of ourselves. The other day master [Courtney Walsh] was suggesting that I should rely on my timing as I was hurrying too much in the nets. It worked for me. He is helping us out. It is also up to us to perform with his responsibility.
"We have different strengths in our batting. Our batting depth and experience is ahead of theirs [Afghanistan's]. But they are good T20 side. We have to play very well to beat them."