The help of a Test legend is steering the exciting pace prospect back to his best
West Indies pace legend Courtney Walsh is working with Bangladesh star fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman to help return the young gun to the world-beater he was before shoulder surgery.
Described as a “special talent” by his Australian Indian Premier League captain David Warner last year, Mustafizur was the leading limited-overs death bowler in the world when a shoulder injury struck playing in England 12 months ago.
Surgery followed in London and ruled the left-armer out for five months, and while he’s been a constant figure in all formats for Bangladesh since his December return, the spark that put him among the elite bowlers in the world is yet to fully return.
Since his comeback in New Zealand, the 21-year-old has captured 31 wickets in 19 matches (two Tests, 13 ODIs and four T20Is).
Prior to surgery, in one-day internationals alone he had snared 26 wickets in nine matches.
However, under the tutelage of Bangladesh’s bowling coach and former Windies spearhead Walsh, who joined the Tigers in August last year until the 2019 World Cup, Mustafizur is working his way back to his best, having changed his whippy bowling action post-surgery.
“It is too early to say anything apart from the fact that he is responding very well in the training sessions,” Walsh told Cricbuzz after a one-on-one session with Mustafizur.
“We are trying to make him bowl (from) close to the wicket but that is not the only thing as we are trying some other stuff as well.”
Walsh’s presence and wealth of knowledge has benefited other members of Bangladesh’s pace battery.
Kamrul Islam, a right-arm quick, says Walsh has already provided useful feedback that’s seen promising development.
“With the guidance of Walsh, I have improved my balance while bowling and also have made some technical amendments that I hope would make my bowling more effective,” Kamrul said.
“I could not deliver inswingers but currently I have been trying to master it.
“As a bowler, I have been trying to perfect the skills that I have already acquired. That’s where my focus lies currently.”