Saturday, January 17, 2015

Demand rises for Bangladesh pace

Al-Amin Hossain:
Al-Amin Hossain: "I have been bowling well in the last 12 months so maybe there is some expectation from me." © AFP
Al-Amin's first year in international cricket started off steadily; then as soon as he found some wickets, he was reported for a suspect bowling action. He cleared the test, but was left dazed by the experience.
"I have been bowling well in the last 12 months so maybe there is some expectation from me," Al-Amin said. "I played poorly in one game against Zimbabwe. I don't listen to criticism, and I would like to prove it in the World Cup.
"I was injured, I had my fourth-year final exam and the action; it was a combination of three to four things. Plus I think my fitness wasn't up to the level I had wanted so maybe that's why the performance wasn't at that level too."
Al-Amin, despite his up-and-down year, has quickly absorbed the lessons of Shane Jurgensen, Bangladesh's head coach before Chandika Hathurusingha, and uses modern variations like the slower bouncer, wide yorker and several other slower deliveries.
"My strength is the outswinger that I bowl after a number of inswingers," Al-Amin said. "Pace is not much of a factor in Australia, I feel. I want to bowl stump-to-stump at my pace which is around 130kph. I am working hard on swinging and cutting the ball.
"Bowling the leg-cutter is also a strength. I bowl it in the slog overs or the Powerplay. I am working more on the wide yorker and slower bouncer, more than the leg-cutter which comes naturally to me."
Al-Amin said he wants to take "12 to 15" wickets in the first round, a target he feels is much more within his grasp than becoming one of the top ten as Taskin, sitting next to him, said. In an instance one realises what one year of international cricket, part of which was spent giving university exams, going through bowling action tests and injuries, can do to a bowler.
"His [Taskin's] target is to be in the top ten. I personally think that we can only make the top ten if we can reach the tournament final," Al-Amin said. "So my target is to take 12-15 wickets in the first six games.
"Taking wickets in international cricket is a matter of confidence. If I can take a few early, the confidence starts to grow. I plan to repeat the good games I have had in the first year of my international career. I am bowling a lot, watching videos and talking to the coaches to make that happen in the World Cup."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent.


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