Mohammad IsamBangladesh correspondent, ESPNcricinfo
“It is just one Test match that no fast bowler played,” Walsh said. “This was a Test to try to win the series. For me, it is not sending the wrong message. Tactically we felt it was the best for Bangladesh to win without a fast bowler. It might be the first time one hasn’t played, but the result matters. It is a tremendous feeling to have a series win. I think everything went according to the plans of the coach, captain and the rest of the guys had to win the series,” he said.
This was the first time in their 18-year Test history that Bangladesh went without a pace bowler in their line-up. Although Mustafizur Rahman played in the Chattogram Test, the spinners picked all 40 West Indies wickets – the first time spinners have taken all the wickets in a two-Test series.
Walsh said that this does not send any wrong messages to the pace bowlers, and that they can look ahead to performing in the limited-overs leg coming up next week.
“There’s a lot of cricket coming up. The ODIs and T20Is will feature fast bowlers. Youngsters will see it and want to play. I think it is the programme that you put in place to encourage youngsters to play, and not just one Test match without a fast bowler.”
Bangladesh’s pace bowlers have failed to impress in the tours of New Zealand, South Africa and West Indies in the last two years, even when the conditions have been in their favour. Their 28 wickets have come at an average of 61.50, compared to the spinners who grabbed 37 wickets at 43.59, having bowled nearly the same number of balls in the three tours.
Walsh said that the major concern has been their inability to take advantage of favourable conditions. “Hopefully when we go to New Zealand [in February next year], the seamers might get a better opportunity. We might get different types of wickets and they should want to grab those opportunities as well. We haven’t grabbed it in any overseas tour, and that to me is a bigger concern.
“No one has put their hand up and said, ‘okay, when I am in Bangladesh I might not play but when I am away, I want to be the first name on the list’. We have had a few injuries but I think we have had enough Tests away from home where bowlers should be ready and be hungry for it.”
Walsh said that among the pace bowlers in action in the last four home Tests, Khaled Ahmed impressed him the most with his attitude.
“I was very impressed with his bowling and attitude in that one Test,” Walsh said. “His attitude has been tremendous. Unfortunately he didn’t get a wicket but he bowled very well. All the guys encouraged him.
“I think, just him being around the dressing room, getting the winning feeling, being able to go out and practice, he will improve. I am very happy with the way he is going and once he continues to be consistent, he will be in the thick of things,” said Walsh.