There are once again high hopes from the Bangladesh pacers as new fast bowling coach Charl Langeveldt took over duties with the aim to reform the Tigers’ pace bowling attack.
The fast bowling department has been one of the most vulnerable parts of the Bangladesh team over the years and remains the biggest area of concern for the team management.
There were signs of improvement during Champaka Ramanayake’s tenure in 2008, when the likes of Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and a few other pacers made big strides.
Then, another high-profile fast bowling coach was appointed in the form of Zimbabwe’s Heath Streak to give the Bangladeshi seamers that extra punch and at one point during early 2015 it looked like the pace bowling department started to rise.
Hoping to take the fast bowling department to a new level, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) followed up Streak’s era by roping in Courtney Walsh, one of the all-time great fast bowlers.
However, despite the huge expectations during the West Indies legend’s four-year tenure as the Tigers’ bowling coach, Walsh seemed helpless for various reasons: whether it was a lack of consistency from pacers, their bashfulness due to the language barrier or even a lack of exposure for seamers due to limited opportunities.
Former South Africa pacer Langeveldt seems to have done his homework when it comes to the language barrier and interacting with players to bring out their best and said that he was going to be working on a one-on-one basis to understand each cricketer’s mentality.
“It [the language barrier] is a challenge that I had in Afghanistan. After working there I found that if you work one-on-one with a player, he tends to open up a bit more. From my experience in Afghanistan, a player tends to say yes even if they don’t understand something. So, I will look to work one-on-one with players and make sure if someone doesn’t understand, I can get someone to explain… slow down, not speak too fast and listen to what he has to say,” Langeveldt said yesterday during his first interaction with the media since being appointed.
“Even if they want to speak about their families and gets comfortable, you will get to understand them and it also prompts them to come to my room and try to talk. I know it’s a challenge but I am looking forward to it.”
Although the word ‘consistent’, which was also a mantra for Walsh, was echoed by Langeveldt too, he pressed the issue of bowling well away from home.
“The new ball is important in ODI and Test cricket, especially in these conditions. The test for me is to find seamers who can bowl outside Bangladesh, who can bowl in conditions of South Africa or Australia. If you look at India, they have three seamers and they can win games in South Africa and Australia. We have to find pacers like that, who can compete at home and abroad.”
When asked about replacing Walsh as bowling coach, the 44-year-old former Protea pacer said that he had a different method to coaching and would be looking to prepare another Mustafizur Rahman or Taskin Ahmed for the future, which he is taking as a challenge.