Soon after yesterday's pre-match press conference ahead of today's Nidahas Trophy encounter against hosts Sri Lanka, this reporter asked Bangladesh's interim head coach Courtney Walsh how he felt about Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan stating that the board do not expect batting plans from the legendary former fast bowler.
Hassan made the comments a day after Bangladesh's famous win against Sri Lanka.
The only reaction from Walsh was a quizzical look and a smile -- not unlike his non-verbal intimidation of batsmen during his playing days -- as he strolled to the elevators of Colombo's R Premadasa Stadium.
During the press conference however, the West Indian did speak about batting when asked about the lone battle waged by Mushfiqur Rahim in the series so far.
“Quite a few batters have got starts. You'd like them to finish it. We are trying to be a bit more consistent in our all-round play. I think it will be good if other batters put their hands up, but Mushfiqur is doing tremendously well,” said Walsh.
The last group stage game has become a virtual semifinal as the winner will take on India in the final on Sunday. Walsh emphasised on the need for consistency after the 17-run defeat against India on Wednesday.
“It would have been nice if we won yesterday [Wednesday] but it wouldn't have guaranteed a spot in the final. This game, whichever team wins, gets to the final. We are up for the challenge of playing consistent cricket. We have to play to the best of our ability, which will give us a chance. The competition has been good. We need to fine-tune ourselves,” Walsh continued.
Meanwhile, Shakib Al Hasan joined the team yesterday ahead of the crucial encounter, following his recovery from a finger injury.
Asked whether the star all-rounder's inclusion was a decision made by the higher-ups or the team management, Walsh replied: “We hoped to have him from the beginning of the tournament. He was always part of the setup. We knew he was going to make a comeback if there was any chance. It is nothing to worry about. Once Shakib is fit, we are going to welcome him to the team. If he is fit, he will be considered to play. We are hoping he will be fit enough to play. He had a net session in Dhaka. There won't be any confusion.”
In addition, the Tigers' fast bowling department has seen some inconsistency as none of the seamers, apart from Rubel Hossain, seem to be able to maintain momentum.
“Rubel has been very consistent. If the other guys stepped up, it would give us a little more cushion. Someone like Mustafizur [Rahman] having a good game will help us tremendously. Spinners have been as spot-on as we like them to be. They have had good patches. If everyone does their bit, it will give us a very good chance,” he said, adding that it is important to have variations in the shortest format of the game and that the execution has not been consistent so far.