From the start of 2017 till the just-concluded first Test against New Zealand in Hamilton, Bangladesh have played nine Test matches overseas and the team management has employed nine different fast bowlers. In the innings-and-52-run defeat against New Zealand in Hamilton, debutant pacer Ebadot Hossain became the ninth, while Khaled Ahmed -- playing his second Test -- was playing his first overseas Test.
Of the nine, Taskin Ahmed and Kamrul Islam Rabbi have played the highest number of overseas Tests with five. Apart from Subhasish Roy and Kamrul, none of the nine have played three overseas Test matches on the trot.
The lack of experience from the Bangladesh seamers was evident during in Hamilton where the Tigers' pace trio of Abu Jayed, Khaled and Ebadot conceded 369 runs in 87 overs and managed to pick just one wicket.
Bangladesh bowling coach Courtney Walsh said that the decision-makers need to be more patient and allow the seamers to grow by providing them enough opportunities.
“I think the decision-makers need to be patient, which I have always advocated for as you have to give a guy the chance to play. After playing a couple of matches you can make changes if he is not doing well, but if you are going to play one Test here and one there you will never get a chance to learn the trade or improve.
“Obviously, when you are in Bangladesh the wicket is spin-friendly but overseas you want to give them a good run. In the last tour New Zealand tour we had a new set of fast bowlers, and this tour is also the same, so there is no continuity and consistency. We have to look at three-four guys that we think can make it, especially overseas, and then test them,” Walsh told reporters at the team hotel in Hamilton yesterday.
The 56-year-old Jamaican insisted that the pacers should get at least five to 10 Tests as a unit and be rotated to get a good feel, rather than being discarded after one or two matches.
“We invested in Ebadot as, if you remember, two years ago he came as a developmental player. And that investment has sort of worked in terms of how he made his Test debut here. That's a good sign if we can get that to continue, for him to play a couple of Test matches and to keep improving,” he said.
One of the all-time great fast bowlers did admit that it was testing even for him every now and then to get a new set of fast bowlers, saying that he tries to remain patient.
Walsh however informed that the players were the ones who would have to apply themselves in the middle and added that the seamers need to pick wickets to gain confidence, opining that it was the lack of wickets that has led to low confidence.
When asked whether anyone from the lot could play the role Kiwi pacer Neil Wagner performed in the first Test -- when the left-armer unleashed a constant barrage of short-pitched bowling -- Walsh said Ebadot could be a good prospect, but the right-armer needs experience to understand his role.
“It would be good if they can play all formats but obviously I want some other guys, especially for Test cricket. But for their development they need to get exposure to all dimensions of the game as the more you play the more you will learn,” Walsh concluded.