Donald urges pacers not to look for glory balls in Sri Lanka Tests

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Bangladesh bowling coach Alan Donald wanted the pacers to stick to the process in the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka and at the same time urged them to refrain themselves from glory balls. He said the pitches in Bangladesh or subcontinent generally aid the bowlers who could ball in much straighter lines and that glory balls like inswing or outswing could make them less potent. “I think on pitches like this, and my experience of playing in Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka, was much straighter lines,” Donald said here today during Bangladesh’s practice session at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury in Chattogram. “Your new ball is absolutely crucial. Just the emphasis on the last couple of days of training was, how important that new ball is, where we need to find the hot zone, and invest in it a lot longer. Not to look for glory balls, inswing, outswing. We have to stick to the process.”

As Bangladesh’s pitches didn’t allow the swing to get into act after some over, Donald emphasized on reverse swing to thrive here, saying that he is now trying to teach the bowlers to how to do the old ball talking. “The biggest thing here is old ball bowling. Today was all about the old ball. Every training session, I have emphasized a lot on getting the ball to reverse, and be really patient and creative with the old ball. I don’t have to tell these lads about bowling on their conditions. They know what to expect. But the overall patience, and persistence, and creativity that we bring is going to be testing.” It was, however, quite surprising that Bangladeshi pacers got much important in a home Test, which was not seen before. But the recent performance of the pacers made them a potential match winner alongside the spinners in Bangladesh condition. According to Donald, pacers like Shoriful Islam, Taskin Ahmed, Ebadot Hossain, Syed Khaled Ahmed broke this stereotype by their outstanding performance in the longer version format. “I was really impressed with Shoriful especially in the one-dayer. I think the bigger surprise for me was Ebadot and Khaled. I was surprised by their engine capacity. Fast bowling is about huge guts and determination. I’ve never seen two spinners and two seamers in a Test match before, but the way they conducted themselves, especially in Durban where they were magnificent,” Donald, the former South African great, said.

“Apart from one mad half hour that knocked us back, I thought by bowling SA out in both Tests was a fantastic effort. I’m delighted with what I have seen. I think the discussions that we had in every single training session, and the learning we get out of it, is substantial. I’m pleased with where we are going,” remarked the former speedster, who affectionately called as the “The White Lightning”.” “Taskin has a heart of gold, he has a massive heart. Once he is back to lead the attack, we will see a lot more of the hunger. I’m excited with what I have seen.” Donald also talked about Mustafizur Rahman who is now at the center of discussion for not picking up Test cricket as his priority. According to Donald, it is the individual’s choice that what format he will play. Drawing Andre Russell’s example, he said: “May be that’s something we can talk about with Mustafiz. That’s a personal thing. When I first saw Andre Russell play for us in the Knights (Kolkata Knight Riders), I thought this guy is the best cricketer in the world. He bowled at 150kph, and smoke balls 110m across the fence. His body wasn’t quite made for Test cricket, so he opted to take the shorter route. It is a personal choice, so I am not going to rock that boat.” The first of two-match Test series between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka starts on May 15 in Chattogram.

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