Two new frontrunners to pick up pace baton | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 14, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:17 AM, January 14, 2021

Two new frontrunners to pick up pace baton

One of the most demanding and risky disciplines in cricket is pace bowling because even promising fast bowlers with all requisite attributes can fade away or suffer debilitating injuries without proper guidance.

The Bangladesh team management is considering creating a culture with emphasis on pace bowling, much like India has over the last five years or so and are now reaping the benefits.

Head coach Russell Domingo had also pressed the issue and is now looking forward to preparing a good group of fast bowlers in all three formats, both home and abroad.

Two young seamers who have caught the eye with recent performances and were called up for the Tigers' preliminary squads are left-arm seamer Shoriful Islam and right arm quickie Hasan Mahmud.

Young Shoriful showed his talent and aggression during Bangladesh's ICC Under-19 World Cup-winning campaign last year, where the youngster impressed with a consistent line and length.

The six feet three inches tall pacer uses his height well and performed well during the Bangabandhu T20 Cup last year, picking up sixteen wickets in 10 games for Gazi Group Chattogram.

Shoriful was rewarded with selection to Bangladesh's 24-member preliminary ODI squad for the upcoming three-match ODI series against the West Indies.

According to prominent pace bowling coach Sarwar Imran, it will be important that young Shoriful work on his inswing to the right-handers, which will help him thrive in the international circuit for a long time.

"Obviously, he is a bright prospect for Bangladesh but for left-arm seamers it's very important to be able to get the ball into the right-handers. He can take the ball away from the right-handers but at times you can become predictable in international cricket.

"If you look at [former Sri Lanka pacer] Chaminda Vaas, he used to bowl at a pace of 130kmph but still became one of the best left-arm seamers in world cricket because of his ability to move the ball both ways. Shoriful needs to work on this aspect as he has got all the attributes to become better in the coming days," Imran told The Daily Star.

Another young quick, Mahmud, was named in both the ODI and Test preliminary squads after he showed his ability to bowl at a good pace.

Mahmud, who made his T20I debut against Zimbabwe last year, has a great chance to make his ODI and Test debut in the upcoming home series against the West Indies. Imran said Mahmud could become the biggest prospect for the Bangladesh pace bowling department if handled properly.

"Mahmud has a very smooth action and can bang it into the deck hard. He can bowl at a very good pace, around 140kmph, and such quick bowlers are always handy in Tests and ODIs. He is still in his early 20s, so it's important for the management to make sure he isn't over-bowled and his workload management is maintained. I am very hopeful about Mahmud as he can be the next big thing in the pace-bowling department for Bangladesh in the coming days," he said.

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