Bangladesh pace bowling coach Courtney Walsh said that the coaching staff is concerned about the injuries to their fast bowlers ahead of the World Cup, starting from May 30, reports cricbuzz.
Three pacers - Mustafizur Rahman, Mohammad Saifuddin and Rubel Hossain - are carrying niggles. Walsh noted that they are looking at ways to help the fast bowlers to return to full fitness. Mustafizur sprained his ankle while warming up for a Dhaka Premier League match on April 10 to join a growing list of injured players. Rubel Hossain sustained a side strain that prevented him from taking part for most of the DPL. Meanwhile, all-rounder, Saifuddin, was asked to remain inside the 30-yard-circle during the league as he is suffering from a tennis elbow.
Incidentally, Bangladesh started their preparation for the tri-nation series in Ireland at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium with only five cricketers - Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim, Rubel Hossain and Mustafizur Rahman. Most of the remaining players are currently involved in the DPL, with Shakib al Hasan taking part in the ongoing IPL.
"It is the first day of practice. Some of the guys are still playing competitive cricket, which is good for them. Those who are not playing (competitive cricket) are in the camp today,'' Walsh told reporters.
"Out of the five we have three injured - Fizz, Rubel and Saifuddin, who has the tennis elbow. We need to get them back into bowling, within the right frame of mind, and be sharp enough to do a bit of bowling in Ireland and be ready for the World Cup. We have Taskin Ahmed, Khaled Ahmed and Shafiul Islam as well [back-up bowlers]. You can probably say that we have them just in case we need them," he added.
Walsh also observed that they need to be careful in relation to using the injury prone pacer Mustafizur. The left-arm bowler has been troubled by a spate of injuries in the recent past.
"[Mustafizur] has got a big role to play in the World Cup, once he is fit. But I don't think we rely on any one player. Shakib [Al Hasan], Mash [Mashrafe Mortaza] and Rubel have been consistent. Fizz hasn't been as sharp since his injury, and he keeps picking up slight niggles.
"A fully fit Mustafizur can win games for you but we have to have him as fit as possible. We have a bit of time on our side. My concern is that I hope we don't over-rush him, and probably use him too much in Ireland, and he is not fresh for the World Cup."
Walsh also believed that variations could turn out to be the key factor in the World Cup as the wickets are expected to be batting-friendly. "It will be a big challenge. The World Cup is going to be long tournament,. There are going to be some good cricket wickets, which are batting-friendly. We have to be intelligent, and try to execute well. "We have to read the conditions and the surfaces we play. Some places the ball might swing more than others. We have to assess when we get there. Most of the wickets will be docile and flat. We have to work on our variations and execution.
"Everybody studies one another these days, so they know our strengths and weaknesses. Likewise, we also know theirs. So it is about execution on the day, and try to be smart," he said.