Bangladesh fast bowlers eager to learn from Walsh
DHAKA, Bangladesh (CMC):
Fast bowlers in Bangladesh say they are elated at the prospects of learning from former West Indies pacer Courtney Walsh, who, on Thursday, began a three-year stint as the country's bowling coach.
Experienced medium pacer Mashrafe Mortaza and promising fast bowler Taskin Ahmed say they are keen to learn new techniques from Walsh, one of the greatest fast bowlers of the modern era.
Walsh, who has a level 3 coaching degree, has been brought in to improve Bangladesh's pace attack in one-day internationals and T20s as well as the Test attack.
"If we can learn a bit from his vast experience, it would be very helpful for us," Mashrafe told ESPN Cricinfo.
"Pace bowling has a major role in a team taking 20 wickets in a Test match, so I feel that our boys can learn from him how to go about it. His passion, the way he handles situations - these are key things that we can all take from him".
Spin dominated Bangladesh's attack until 2015 with the emergence of bowlers like Shahadat Hossain, Rubel Hossain and Shafiul Islam.
Walsh is replacing former Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak, who worked with the country's fast bowlers for two years.
"One of the reasons why I admire him is his endurance," Mashrafe said.
"His run-up is so smooth that they said even the umpire couldn't hear him running in. There is always a smile on his face. He is a great character. I think we can learn from him how to stay fit".
Walsh's international career spans 17 years, with a record 519 wickets from 132 Tests. He is known for bowling long spells.
"I first want to learn how to gain extra bounce from a good length, which he did so well. I will try to understand the technical side of it, though I don't have the strength like someone from the Caribbean," said Taskin, who is about to travel to Australia to have his bowling action reassessed on September 8.
"I will also try to learn how he remained fit and without injury for so long in his career, and also he bowled those long spells in Test cricket."
Walsh is the highest-profile coach on assignment in Bangladesh. His three-year contract takes him up to the 2019 World Cup.