Courtney Walsh, Bangladesh’s pace bowling coach, showed confidence in the team’s captain Mashrafe Mortaza who has been out of form in the ongoing world cup. He said he isn’t too concerned with Mortaza’s bowling eventhough the veteran seamer has been enduring a below-par run of form.
Mortaza, who has bowled 44 overs so far in this tournament, has picked up only one wicket in the six games. It has come at a cost of 279 runs, at an economy rate of 6.34.
Mortaza came into the tournament after having suffered a hamstring injury that he sustained in the tri-nation series in Ireland. “Wickets are not the key thing and well he has not got enough wickets as we know,” said Walsh on Sunday (June 30). “He is playing well and bowling good. I am sure the wickets will come. I am not really concerned about having wickets. I am more concerned about keeping them tight and doing my job.”
Bangladesh have got two more group-phase games left in the tournament, against India and Pakistan. And with how the points table stands at the end of June, they will need to win both their games in order to have any hopes of qualifying for the semifinal. Even thereafter, they will have to hope for England to lose their last league match against New Zealand.
Their next game is against India in Birmingham. Even as India lost their first match of the tournament in Edgbaston, they didn’t allow England to get the victory easy. More importantly, they would’ve gotten used to the conditions the better. The interesting aspect of their match, however, was that they played on a surface that suited the pacers and the batsmen, much in contrast to the two other matches played at the same venue, that was slow and helped the spinners.
Walsh looked little worried with how the Birmingham pitch will behave when they take on India on Tuesday and insisted that they are keeping everyone ready for the must-win game.
“We are just trying to get everybody ready; saying anybody could bowl with the new ball,” said Walsh. “We have got three seamers playing now and Rubel [Hossain] played in one of the games before. So, any of those guys could bowl with the new ball because we’ve trying to get them ready for that.
“Obviously, if things are swinging and there is bit in the air, (Mohammad) Shaifuddin gets a little bit more swing than probably Fizz [Mustafizur Rahman]. But Fizz still gets a bit of shape so and then, as you know Mashrafee is always swinging it around and so it’s a good option to have.
“We have to assess what’s going to happen here in Birmingham. If the wicket’s going to turn, then it’s best for us to have a spinner bowling earlier as well trying to get an early wicket. So, we’ll have a look at the game to see what the wicket has been like today [Sunday] in this game. But obviously with the new ball if there is going to be any swing or movement, we would want the seamers to use it as well. So, I think it’s on the day what the surface has to hold and how well we react on the day.”
Only once in their six matches in the ongoing World Cup – in the match against New Zealand on June 5 – have Bangladesh taken more than one wicket in the first 10 overs. Knowing that it may turn out to be costly against India, a team that possesses one of the strongest batting line-up in the tournament, Walsh urged his players to use the new ball well.
“It’s key for them to use the new ball,” he said. “We have to assess what’s going to happen here in Birmingham. If the wicket’s going to turn then it’s best for us to have a spinner bowling earlier as well trying to get an early wicket. So, we’ll have a look at the game to see what the wicket has been like today [Sunday] in this game.”