Those of us who started watching cricket in the 90’s the pair of Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose was ‘The Most Favorite’ pair of cricket. We have seen batting pair of some great batsmen but seeing a destructing pair of bowlers was something unreal and astonishing.
The pair witnessed the golden age of West Indies cricket as well as the fall of their empire. Their retirements pushed the team into even darker path. But as long as they were in the team, they gave their best with the ball.
No batsmen were courageous enough to hit these two bowlers; that time after 15 overs teams against West Indies could do 24 to 30 runs. When there was a new trend of scoring quick runs in the first 10-15 overs no batsmen showed any interest of hitting this pair.
There were many fast bowlers who stayed in the cricket history forever but these two name will always be on top; because they were the pioneer of fast bowling in the modern cricket. Yorker, extra-bounce, good length delivery; they had it all.
And after 15 years of retirement, Courtney Walsh has come to Bangladesh to train the tigers. It’s his first time as coach; and people are expecting something magical from him. He was the first bowler to pick up 500 wickets in the test, so people will have some expectations from him.
Bangladesh on the other hand, have never got a high-profile coach like him. It’s the first time they got a big name in their cricket. This small country of many hopes and dreams have come across a long way.
From being a minnow to an uprising powerhouse of Asia, from a spin-based team to a pace-based team. They have seen it all; losing matches by 2 runs, 1 run, 2 wickets and what not?
But after all the odds this nation tries their best to stay in the competition. They try everything to get the very best from what they have. And this uprising nation has a bowling coach who used to be the ferocious lion in the field.
Then again, there are skeptics who think Courtney Walsh won’t deliver what he is supposed to, because it’s his first time as coach.
But a guy who has taken 519 Test wickets, has bowled more than 5000 overs in Test cricket, has taken 5 wickets in an innings more than 100 times in first class cricket, doesn’t need much experience in coaching. He knows how to teach his students.
Question is what to learn from him? A bowling coach doesn’t teach you a whole new bowling action or make you the fastest bowler alive; his mission is to bring the very best out of your bowling, not to make you ‘The Flash’.
Even, ‘The Flash’ who is the fastest man alive, has a mentor. Everyone requires a mentor or a coach. And with Taskin, Mustafiz, Al-Amin, Rubel in the squad Walsh has some special tasks to do.
For the bowlers, the very first thing they have to learn is that how to remain fit and avoid injury. Walsh had a long career of cricket without injury so, it will be beneficial towards the tiger bowlers to know the secret of his fitness.
We can’t expect our bowlers to increase their speed within a night; it will take time. But what we can expect is that their line-length of bowling; every batsman has a weak point, if our bowlers get to know how to identify that, they will on the top of their game.
Walsh is here in Bangladesh for three years; so things can go in a natural pace. No one has to hurry while learning a technique. Also, he needs some times to settle down and mix with the players.
As a cricket loving nation, Bangladeshi people will have high expectations but it will be wise enough to hold on to that because it needs time to change a team. We have to be patient enough and let Walsh do what he is best at.