Can’t expect Mustafizur to take five wickets every time: Bowling coach

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Mirpur (Bangladesh), June 23 (IANS) Bangladesh bowling coach Heath Streak made it clear that inspite of pacer Mustafizur Rahman claiming 11 wickets in his first two One-Day Internationals (ODI), expecting five-fors in every match would be unrealistic.

Mustafizur broke Zimbabwean Brian Vitori’s record of ten wickets in his first two ODIs when he took 6 for 43 in the second ODI against India in Mirpur on Sunday. By taking 5 for 50 in his first ODI, he became only the second Bangladesh bowler to take a five-for on debut, after Taskin Ahmed.

Bangladesh have won the ongoing thee-match ODI series 2-0 with the third match to be played here on Wednesday.

“He (Mustafizur) is still very young. We have to be careful. He has taken 11 wickets but we can’t expect him to take five wickets every time. He has shown his potential,” Streak was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo on Monday.

“If we look after him and support him, he will be a big match-winner for us. When Mashrafe started, he was looked after throughout his career.”

Streak said since some players need more coaching than others, it will be important to closely monitor Mustafizur but they would have to be careful not to overdo it.

“I think that’s where as a coach you have to be careful not to over-coach and just help guide them along. When assistance is needed, you remind them. It is a very important part of coaching. Some people need more coaching than others. We have to be careful how we manage him,” he said.

The former Zimbabwe pacer noticed Mustafizur in May last year in Bangladesh A’s tour to the West Indies and was immediately impressed with him.

After his first five-wicket haul, Streak worked closely with Mustafizur to develop other variations knowing that the Indian batsmen could figure him out.

“For me, he has to execute (his skills) more regularly and consistently.”

Streak said the plan was to surprise India by playing four specialist pace bowlers in sub-continent conditions and that he along with head coach Chandika Hathurusingha ensured that the bowling attack was chosen based on their suitability to the conditions.

“Mustafizur has been bowling well. We fought hard to get him into the T20 squad against Pakistan and he showed what he is capable of. Since then it has been good to have Mustafizur, Taskin Ahmed and Rubel Hussain who we know can perform,” the 41-year-old said.

“Mashrafe Mortaza has been a consistent performer for Bangladesh for a long time now. We have a good group and we felt India wouldn’t expect that. We knew that conditions, if we can prepare the wickets to suit our style of bowling, would play into our hands,” Streak said.

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