Pressure on Rubel after failures in Nidahas Trophy final and Afghanistan T20I

Pace bowler Rubel Hossain will need to concentrate on his strength rather than trying out something that he is yet to master to perform well against the Windies in the upcoming tour. The pace unit is expected to be led by Rubel in the absence of Mustafizur Rahman from the Test squad. However, the challenges will be steep for Rubel having failed to deliver in recent times, during the Nidahas Trophy final as well as in the series-deciding second Twenty20 against Afghanistan.

On both days, Rubel’s inability to hold his nerves was exposed.

Former national head coach Sarowar Imran, who has worked with the speedster earlier in his career, believes the right armer did not bowl to his strength on both occasions alongside lacking accuracy. “Firstly his yorkers did not land perfectly and instead it was pitched on the length that helped the batsman to play his shots,” Imran said. “It was not accurate and that is largely due to lack of skill as well as doubts over own ability.

“When a bowler wants to bowl a yorker, there cannot be any doubts and while he is going through the run-up, all his focus needs to be in executing it,” he added. “Perhaps he was thinking that what will happen if it is not pitched on [in] the right area, and [that] probably played a big part,” Imran observed.

Imran also noted that since Rubel isn’t the tall kinds, his main weapon couldn’t be a bouncer, rather yorker and reverse swing. However, it seems he is trying too many things at the moment. “Firstly there is problem with his accuracy with the deliveries that used to be most effective for him like the bouncers, yorkers and reverse swing [too],” Sarowar said. “Secondly either a pace bowler needs to have lot of variations or pace that exceeds over 140kmph as there are many bowlers bowling in the range of 140kmph.

“If someone want to add variations it must be applied in match conditions before trying it at [the] international level and they don’t seem to have that opportunity,” he added.

In recent times, Rubel has, on number of occasions, said that he’s learning something called a ‘butterfly delivery’ and has the confidence to execute it in real match conditions. According to Mahbub Ali, BCB’s High Performance Unit pace bowling coach, these kind of things have an impact on bowler’s focus and unless it is tried and tested in the match conditions, there is hardly any guarantee that it will be successful.

“Firstly when a bowler is talking of variations like ‘butterfly’, he must be sure that it is another option that he is adding to repertoire,” said Mahbub Ali. “But if he puts all his concentration on the new skill then he is compromising with the skill that he already possesses.

“Similarly a new skill needs to implemented in practice matches and if someone is able to come close [to] delivering it perfectly in the practice matches or domestic circuit, he can try it at [the] international level,” he said. “I am not sure whether he had been able to execute his new skill enough in match conditions that can make him confident to try it out at the international level,” he added.

Mahbub also felt Rubel hadn’t recovered sufficiently from the Nidahas Trophy disaster and carried the lack of confidence into the Afghanistan T20I too. “It can happen when a bowler had gone through such a game, the impact of it is planted deep inside his mind and once he is put up again in a similar situation those things might recur at the back of the mind.”

Bangladesh are slated to play two Tests, three ODIs and three T20Is in the West Indies, starting July 4.

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