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Walsh: Mashrafe is a fighter

  • Published at 06:53 pm June 14th, 2019
Bangladesh's Mashrafe bin Mortaza shares a light moment with pace bowling coach Courtney Walsh during training in Taunton Friday Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik from Taunton

Courtney Walsh has leapt to the defence of Mashrafe bin Mortaza, terming him a fighter and backing him to do well

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza has taken only one wicket so far in the World Cup 2019 but the skipper received unanimous backing from Tigers’ pace bowling coach Courtney Walsh.

The Tigers have won one match out of four matches so far and lost twice with the other game washed out to rain.

A few in the Bangladesh cricket arena are calling for Mashrafe to be dropped, with fellow pacer Rubel Hossain named in his stead in the playing XI, as Bangladesh prepare to face the West Indies at County Ground in Taunton Monday.

But Walsh has leapt to the defence of Mashrafe, terming him a fighter and backing him to do well.

“We all know Mashrafe is a fighter. He had a slight niggle. As a captain he wants to lead from the front. He has delivered good spells. We have to look after him pretty well. He is determined to lead the country up front. I think it is early days,” Walsh told the media in Somerset Friday in the sidelines of their practice session.

He added, “Obviously the fans want win, win, win. That’s not the case. We lost two games and one got rained out. If we can string a few wins together, I think they will see the depth of the team. Mash has a couple of days off, so that will help. He’ll be in a better place.”

The Tigers have deployed three different opening bowling pairs in as many completed matches.

Mustafizur Rahman and Mehedi Hasan Miraz opened the bowling against South Africa, Mashrafe and Miraz against New Zealand and finally, Shakib al Hasan and Mashrafe against England, with mixed results.

When queried if Mustafizur will return to his role as a new-ball bowler, Walsh said, “It depends on the opposition with the new ball. We have tried him. If he gets into his rhythm pretty early, he can get us early wickets. It depends on the surface too but it is not something we have ruled out. It gives us a bit of edge if he can get the bounce with the new ball, left-arm over and around the wicket. There’s every possibility he could do it here.”

He continued, “We don’t know what’s going to happen in Taunton. I haven’t seen the wicket. There’s good carry and pace in (Taunton). I like to see that as a fast bowler. We have to assess what we have here. If we are talking about four fast bowlers, I wouldn’t see any issues seeing Rubel coming into the attack.”

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