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Old September 8, 2018, 11:13 AM
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Default Can't keep chopping and changing fast bowlers - Courtney Walsh

More faith has to be placed on Bangladesh's young pace bowlers if the best is to be brought out of them, Courtney Walsh has said. Walsh, who last week completed two years as Bangladesh's fast-bowling coach, said the tendency to drop a pace bowler after one bad performance has hampered the team's progress in international cricket.

"It is still a work in progress," Walsh said. "There is a lot of youngsters coming through. If they don't get selected to play, you won't know what they are. It is one of the things we have to look at a little bit more. We can't be too afraid to give the youngsters a chance to express themselves a bit more. If they are kept waiting in the wings, they will never get a chance to play.

"The more you play the best chance you will get to learn. You will get more experience by playing in the middle. Sometimes you have to throw these youngsters in the deep to see what they are made of. But if you keep protecting them and say they are not ready, they might never get ready. Sometimes you have to expose talent, you have to give them a chance."

Walsh said giving the young quicks a longer stretch of matches could give them more confidence and help them build their skillsets.

"I don't think they lack the hunger," he said. "They haven't been given that opportunity to play consistently. It is where the difference might come from. Some of the youngsters we have, they need to get a good run. Not just one or two games and then get dropped. You can have good and bad matches.

"I have seen that as soon as you have a bad game, everyone wants you to be dropped. It is not going to help a youngster.

"All of us can have a bad game, and when that happens, we need to be given a chance to redeem yourself. It is a case of striking the right balance. Youngsters are keen and want to perform at the highest level. They just need to be given a chance."

Walsh praised Mashrafe for continuing to use his experience to lead the ODI attack, having taken 41 wickets at 31.41 in the last two years.

"Mash's experience and skillset is much different and much better than the other guys," Walsh said. "Experience has been carrying him through but he was always a very good fast bowler. If he wasn't injured, he'd be playing Test cricket. The first time I saw him, I told him that he was good enough to play Test matches.

"He is a high-class fast bowler for Bangladesh for a number of years. It is up to the youngsters now to have that hunger. Mash takes pride in his performance. It is the big difference. He wants to do well and compete, and that's what we need."

Bangladesh's immediate assignment is the Asia Cup, and Walsh hoped the likes of Mashrafe, Mustafizur, Rubel and Abu Hider would be able to adapt quickly to conditions in the UAE.

"I don't think it will be perfect for pacers in the Asia Cup," he said. "I think the wickets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are normally pretty flat and docile. Some are expecting the pacers will adapt and be able to use their variations.

"Whenever the bowlers do well in one-day cricket, we have to give them the credit because it is not easy to bowl in these good batting wickets."
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