Bangladesh bowling coach Courtney Walsh has on Monday, 22nd April, insisted that the management not in hurry regarding Mustafizur Rahman's return to action, saying the paceman will be given enough time to recover from his ankle injury before World Cup 2019.
Given Mustafizur's habit of picking up small injuries, Walsh hinted that the fast bowler would not be used too much during the Tri-series in Ireland next month, suggesting the pacer should start 2019 World Cup preparation two weeks after tri-series including West Indies also.
He was concerned with the increasing injury list at the bowling department, as Rubel Hossain has already a side strain, Mohammad Saifuddin is suffering from a tennis elbow, while Abu Jayed picked up a niggle -which is a serious cause of concern for Bangladesh ahead of the upcoming mega ICC event.
However, Mustafizur’s injury is a major concern for Bangladesh ahead of the 2019 World Cup, and Courtney believes that the Tigers should not rely on the seamer much at the premier tournament.
Walsh told reporters, “[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.”
He continued, “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."
"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 [for back-up]. You can probably say that we have them just in case we need them.”
Meanwhile, English pitches are likely to mostly assist batsmen, and Wales believes that his bowlers have to be smart while executing their game plans during the quadrangular 50-over tournament.
He explained. “It will be a big challenge. The World Cup is going to be a 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.”
Wales signed off by saying, “We have to work on our variations and execution. Most of the wickets will be docile and flat. 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.”
(With ESPNcricinfo Inputs)