Tools there, but will they be used well? | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 19, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:33 AM, January 19, 2021

Tools there, but will they be used well?

Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo has a wide variety of bowling options with six genuine seamers, two left-arm spinners, and two off-spinners in the 18-member ODI squad for the three-match series against the West Indies.

But as in the batting department where the likes of Liton Das, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Soumya Sarkar, Afif Hossain and Mohammad Mithin are yet to take up a leading role, things are not yet settled in the bowling department.

The over-dependency on spin has been prevalent across formats and the presence of two of the most experienced left-arm spinners, Shakib Al Hasan and Taijul Islam, continues to provide the most assurance.

Off-spinner Mehedi Hasan Miraz, despite bursting onto the scene with a lot of promise in 2016, now needs to take his game to the next level and add variety in his bowling, especially in the limited-overs format. The inclusion of uncapped off-spinner, Mahedi Hasan will certainly keep Mehedi on his toes.

But according to Domingo, the time has come to bank on seamers with an intention to develop a better bowling unit both at home and abroad keeping the long-term goal in mind.

"There's no doubt that we always wanted to play at least three seamers in our 50-over side. There are some exciting young prospects at the moment, guys like Shoriful [Islam] and Hasan Mahmud. Rubel [Hossain] and Mustafizur [Rahman] have been bowling really well. Taskin [Ahmed] has shown improvement. There's a whole host of guys pushing for places. We need to make sure we provide them the opportunity to play one-day cricket.

"I think we can't just be a team that plays spinners all the time. We are going to New Zealand in six weeks' time. There, I can assure you we can play only one spinner so we have to make sure we have seamers who are ready to play international cricket. I can't see myself playing an ODI without three seamers," Domingo told reporters yesterday.

There was a changing of guard of sorts when the Bangladesh think tank moved on fromMashrafe Bin Mortaza, the country's most successful pacer – and so now is the time to groom a new set of seamers and give them enough exposure to hone their skills.

There is a long list of pacers -- Shafiul Islam, Al-Amin Hossain, Abu Hider to name just a few -- who briefly impressed but then faded away either due to injury or lack of consistency.

Although Rubel is among the six seamers in the 18-member squad, it is still not certain whether the pacer, who is in his thirties now, would be considered for the long run.

Now, it falls upon Mustafizur to take the leading role and it will be important for him to realise that and develop his mindset to fill the huge vacuum of Mashrafe.

Six years since making his International debut, another once highly rated pacer, Taskin Ahmed, has been battling injuries and has lacked consistency despite having all the attributes to become the spearhead of the Tigers' pace attack.

Mohammad Saifuddin is another good prospect as he has the ability to bowl both with the new ball and can also be a death-overs specialist. However, the team management needs to take proper care of an injury-prone Saifuddin to get the best out of him in the long term.

The inclusion of two young seamers in the form of left-arm pacer Shoriful and Mahmud is certainly refreshing but the question over whether the bowlers will receive enough support from the team management and be able to lift themselves remains.

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