Bangladesh v NZ, 2nd Test, Mirpur, 4th day October 24, 2013

'The type of innings I hadn't imagined myself playing' - Tamim

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When Bangladesh began the fourth day in Mirpur, they were in the familiar position of having to claw their way back into the match after having conceded a substantial lead, to New Zealand. In the past, their batting has not quite coped with the challenge, with some dodgy shot selection letting them down.

This time, though, the often-missing backbone was evident. Newcomer Mominul Haque took the headlines with his second successive century and his partnership with the experienced opener Tamim Iqbal helped them wipe out the deficit.

Tamim, whose naturally aggressive batting has let his side down in critical situations before, showed he could graft if his team needed him to, making 70 off 218 deliveries. He cut out the extravagant drives, there was no indiscipline outside the off stump and he hit only four boundaries in his innings.

"We were on the back foot when we started the day so we had planned not to go for high-risk shots," Tamim said. "If I was able to complete the job then I would have been able to do my duty. But I have done a decent job for my team; this is what they hoped for from me.

"Mominul and I batted till tea. The type of innings I played I had not imagined myself playing. Usually when I am on 40-45 I take chances against spinners and reach the milestone. Today I picked singles, milestones weren't on my mind. I batted for my team."

But Tamim did struggle adjusting to this approach, saying that he curbed some of his preferred strokes like the slog sweep. "It is hard of course. I love playing shots. At one stage the offspinner was bowling and there was no deep midwicket; the slog sweep is a favourite shot of mine, but I controlled the urge.

"In Test cricket you won't be able to play your natural game all the time. That was the situation, and maybe today I did the right thing. It feels good."

Despite helping his team out of a tight situation today, there were the familiar questions about a lack of a hundred in more than three years. Tamim wasn't too pleased at the issue cropping up.

"I did not think of any milestones today. This innings was for the team. In the first innings I was disappointed not to get a hundred. But so much has been said about this issue that eventually it is me who is being harmed," he said. You people should understand that. There is a limit to everything, but everyday whenever you meet me I hear 'the century is not happening'. Who doesn't want to score a century? You have to understand that cricket is a mental game. These questions are an extra pressure for me so I would request you not to ask me these kinds of questions."

He had more to say to the media on the topic of his scoring rate as well. "If I play aggressively everyone says you are aggressive, if I play slow everyone says you are slow, so you people tell me what I am supposed to do. This has gone to an extreme now--if I play normally you say I am too aggressive and if I play sedately you say I am slow. What's wrong with you guys? Just let me play my game please. Let me play my game."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • i_golam on October 25, 2013, 12:19 GMT

    The job is done as the situation demanded and you have done what you have been told to and you have done it well & thats it !!... You do not need to be emotional of some strange questions asked or will be asked in the future !! just do your job and ignore the whole thing !! I think BD guys have become much more mature in years !! Now after many years I belive I can say that BD has 6 special batsman in the team like the other good teams ! Tamim - ( ? ) - Marshall - Mominul - Shakib - Mushi - Nasir !! BD realy lacks a true oppener the line there but think what they can do when they find one ??

  • dummy4fb on October 25, 2013, 1:34 GMT

    well done, this is the probably the most matured innings I have seen from Tamim, if BD survives the test match, it will definitely be for Tamim. Kudos

  • dummy4fb on October 24, 2013, 22:16 GMT

    I almost stopped writing any comment here for a long. Great job Tamim, just keep that up and just smile at the media people and ask them to go for any other question when you try to avoid such questions, just the way you have batted today!

  • Mullick on October 24, 2013, 19:26 GMT

    Tamim, your 70 run in this inning is worth more than a century. The way you played, anchored yourself and controlled your urge........ I sea a seasoned test cricketer in you. Keep it up exactly this way. This was a much needed inning for your team. Bravo.

  • i_amVIVA on October 24, 2013, 19:23 GMT

    I agree with Tamim, staying at the crease was more importat than milestone at the stage when he was batting. Job well done, bud....... go tigers

  • monal135 on October 24, 2013, 19:19 GMT

    Congrats Tamim Iqbal. One of the great test innings.

  • RasedPioneer on October 24, 2013, 17:37 GMT

    Thanks Tamim from BD. We don't need your century, BD getting enough from your own style- keep it up our HERO.

  • android_user on October 24, 2013, 17:18 GMT

    Respect to Tamim bhai. Shut up critics. Let our Best opener do what he feels is the beet to do in which situation. If you have so many things to say, go open the innings instead of him?

  • Rafelgibt on October 24, 2013, 17:15 GMT

    I would say this is the best innings i've ever seen Tamim playing for Bangladesh.Very well done Tamim and thats the way to play TEST match.Plz keep on playing like that in TESTs and help us to DRAW the matches for next couple of years and then we would keep Winning that's for a sure inshallah.

  • TheRisingTeam on October 24, 2013, 16:53 GMT

    Well done Tamim!!! we really appreciate that innings of yours because it is one that could save Bangladesh the series and we know how much pressure you were under. Don't worry about 100. 100s we know are not easy and you are very young and will score many in the future. If Bangladesh plays more tests than 100s will be very likely and I request BCB to arrange in future extra tests.