West Indies in Bangladesh 2012-13 December 11, 2012

The more we play Tests, the more we'll improve - Tamim


Tamim Iqbal has renewed the call for more Test cricket for Bangladesh as they go into a three-month break. Their next assignment will be two Test matches against Sri Lanka in March, followed by two more against Zimbabwe in April. In 2012, they've played the least number of Tests in a year since their admission into Test cricket.

Tamim said that the first Test against West Indies, which was their first in eleven months, showed that they know how to play the game but not how to finish a Test match. "If you don't play enough Tests, you wouldn't have an idea of how to play the game properly. Test cricket is all about habits and the more we will play, the more we will improve," Tamim said. "We talk of improvement but the fact is, we have never taken a Test against a better opponent into the fifth day. It is the same as scoring a hundred: if you haven't made one you wouldn't know how it's done.

"Bangladesh were on top for the first four days of the Dhaka Test. We lost it in the final session of the game but we were playing after almost a year. I'm not making excuses for that defeat though. We should have drawn or won that game."

Despite the defeat in the Test series and the one-off Twenty20 against West Indies, Tamim believes that, across formats, this series marked Bangladesh's best effort to date. "It was our best series. We were competitive in the Tests, we won the ODI series and we lost in the T20 after playing our best game," he said. "It was a very positive series for us."

Tamim said he noticed a marked change in the self-belief among his team-mates, particularly captain Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah who played pivotal roles. The younger players too caught the eye, but the opener warned that the win shouldn't be the end of their cricket education.

"Our biggest gain has been the self-belief among the players, which is very important for a team like ours. We didn't have Shakib [Al Hasan, who was injured], which was a big blow for us. I didn't perform in the ODIs. But our team won because the captain, vice-captain and the younger players doing well.

"We have a lot to improve on though. It doesn't mean we have learned everything by just winning the ODI series. We have a lot of areas to improve on, especially the small things. Our success rate will go up if we stop making those small mistakes."

Personally, Tamim expressed his disappointment at not scoring hundreds for yet another year. His last international century was in Manchester in June 2010 and he has made 17 half-centuries since then, including the unbeaten 88 in the one-off Twenty20 on Monday.

"I dream of scoring a hundred every day, but I get out through my fault 75% of the time. I am very disappointed because 50s are not counted at the world level [when identifying] big players," he said. "I have to take myself to the next level, by scoring more hundreds. This is one area where I can improve, though I have to learn it on my own. I have to find out where I am going wrong."

"In the meantime, I have spoken to great cricketers at home and abroad, asked them what I can do after scoring a 50 ... I spoke to [India batsman] Wasim Jaffer a few months ago, about scoring hundreds."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Smith on December 14, 2012, 11:42 GMT

    Apart from Sri Lanka I see no reason why Bangladesh can't beat both Zimbabwe and New Zealand in a test series, hopefully the wins will finally come. Also the Zimbabwe series should be raised to 3 test matches instead of 2 but Zimbabwe only has 2 stadiums fit for International games Harare and Bulawayo.

  • Sami on December 13, 2012, 15:55 GMT

    @Stolid Raymond Gaskin Charisma - What? I doubt these young inexperience replacements of these legends i.e.Jonny Bairstow, Steven Finn, Jadeja whoever of these team would be able to dominate our young experience players like Tamim, Shakib, Mahmudullah, Rahim, etc with ease who between them have played well over 300 ODI matches, over 100 test matches all still young. These young inexperience replacements have not even played anywhere close to our young players but you'll understand in the next 2-3 years what I'm talking about. I can see that Chanderpaul will be leaving soon so big gap to fill from you guys good luck!

  • Dummy4 on December 13, 2012, 15:42 GMT

    @subbass...I agree with you! everyone deserves to play Cricket especially the likes of Ireland. For some reason, Test Cricket is like age restricted when watching certain films :)

  • Dummy4 on December 13, 2012, 15:28 GMT

    Again amazing, so England 15 test matches in just this year alone 2012 whereas Bangladesh add the number of test matches of years 2010, 2011 and 2012 but still results in 14 test matches in just 3 years combined something is wrong to me. No need of a test ranking table in my opinion.

  • Dummy4 on December 13, 2012, 14:57 GMT

    I did a quick research in the amount on the teams that have played the amount of test matches this year and must say its simply ridiculous and totally agree with Tamim. Tests in 2012:

    England - 15 tests Australia - 11 tests South Africa - 10 tests New Zealand - 10 tests West Indies - 10 tests India - 9 tests Sri Lanka - 8 tests Pakistan - 6 tests Bangladesh - 2 tests Zimbabwe - 1 test

    So what's the point of having a test ranking table when Bangladesh and Zimbabwe don't even play Test Cricket? or are they there just to fill the ranks so everyone will think the world plays Test Cricket or something. Its also impossible for good test teams like Pakistan to ever have a chance of breaking into the top 2 when they don't play nowhere near enough tests as the bigger teams so something is clearly wrong based on these facts.

  • Shoaib on December 13, 2012, 12:08 GMT

    @Stolid Raymond Gaskin Charism: Gayle failing for 10 straight innings is proof enough just how well Bangladesh for a 'minnow' team played. You're lucky the worlds best one-day all-rounder wasn't playing otherwise the one-day games where we have lost to you would've been won by us because or best player is very experience with both bat and ball especially in that format and that's what cost us these 2 games we have lost in that series otherwise it would've been an embarrassing Banglawash for your team. You beat New Zealand 4-1 in an one-day series earlier but we beat you 3-2 so I don't understand who you think you are telling us what we can and cannot say. We beat New Zealand 4-0 and not our problem they're having big issues right now :)

  • Shoaib on December 13, 2012, 11:29 GMT

    @Anas Nawaz:- After playing 50 years of International Cricket old Pakistan has still yet to win a series in Australia lol so what's your point? also don't try to twist things I mean how many Cricket matches did Bangladesh play before they got full status? exactly once your Pakistan players are retired then you will see just how weak Pakistan would've become. At least we can safely hold Cricket matches but its your country that's desperately asking Bangladesh to come and play lol glad the rise of Bangladesh Cricket worries you.

  • Jonny on December 13, 2012, 11:06 GMT

    @mihir_nam - That is utterly untrue Bangladesh played Ireland in a 3 match T20 series this year and even invited them for a 3 match ODI series so how is that not support? what did India do for such countries? don't blame Bangladesh its not us that owns or runs ICC. If countries like Ireland or Afghanistan really want to play Bangladesh in an ODI series then all you have to do is ask them.

  • Jonny on December 13, 2012, 11:01 GMT

    @Stolid Raymond Gaskin Charism:- Sour grapes? Yes even I admit teams above Bangladesh and that includes New Zealand are still better than Bangladesh but when all their old talented players are gone then there's a big hole left and that's where things will start to get interesting. The fact is you failed to thrash minnows by an innings in a test match even with all that experience against our young boys, the fact is you lost an ODI series against minnows still having diffuclties to understand? even that T20 game had it not been for the last over heroics of Samauels and drop catches of our wicketkeeper you still would've been in a serious trouble in that game. First get your grounds filled then talk. Bangladesh future in Cricket is much brighter than the West Indies. West Indies had test status in 1926 whereas Bangladesh in 2000 so that's why we're not as good in Test Cricket as of yet but times are no doubt changing but some people are still blind to see it :D

  • Dummy4 on December 13, 2012, 8:13 GMT

    There is a popular words for BD batsman when they got out badly "short selection problem". what is it? again and again this is the same problem for BD batsman. As we see that BD batsman loves to play more stokes, it is become easy for opponent team bowlers to make 2 good deliveries in a over because that 2 good delivery gives them wicket. Ex: Tamim weak point is the ball that comes outside off close to his body, he just can not leave those good deliveries and trapped easily.In One day's or T20 he can get back in the match with luck and 50's but in a Test match a wicket is crucial and important also against big innings . Some BD players have problem with short deliveries. Every international players have some weak points but some how they come up and be successful to make big innings. Patience and temperament is the key. before playing Test with top nations these players need good match practices and preparations which will give them more confidence against these odds.

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