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November 10, 2012
Tamim Iqbal, the Bangladesh opener, has said the huge gap between the team's Test matches is hurting their chances in the format. When they host West Indies for two Tests starting next week, Bangladesh will play five-day cricket after a gap of 11 months.
"Our situation isn't good, we play Tests after long gaps," Tamim told ESPNcricinfo. "We should have this mentality of adapting ourselves from one format to the other. If we had played regular Test cricket, this question about adjusting wouldn't have come up."
Bangladesh played five Tests last year, drawing one and losing the other four, a marginal improvement from 2010, when they lost all seven Tests they played. However, Tamim had a stellar 2010, when he made three Test centuries, and a leaner 2011; when he struggled because of the team's 14-month break from Test cricket. Most Bangladesh players struggled to make that transition from limited-overs to Tests.
"Good form doesn't last for long, so one has to make the best of it. When I was doing really well in 2010, how many Tests did I end up playing? If someone else was in my place, he would have played more and made more runs."
Tamim said he planned to bring more discipline to his game this season in order to make up for the break, but added that it was the player's mentality that mattered.
"It depends on individuals. If one's thinking pattern goes like, 'I am playing a Test match after a year and a half', his performance will be what he makes of it. If you think differently and decide that I should be ready mentally, I think this gives a player more chances to perform.
"If you make a professional cricketer play a T20 after two years of Tests, he won't just start leaving balls outside off stump. He's not an idiot. He has the sense to hit out. The same thing happens when you bring him back to Tests from Twenty20s."
Bangladesh will mark 12 years in Test cricket with the second lowest number of Tests in a year - just the two against West Indies (the lowest being the single Test against India in 2000). They have a longer 2012-13 season, however, with Tests scheduled against Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe early next year, but only positive results will give the country's cricket authorities a little more room to manoeuvre their cricket schedule and attract top countries to play against Bangladesh.
Tamim said the players had to look at their situation positively. "What opportunities we get, we should make full use of it. This will give us more chances to play."
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in BangladeshFeeds: Mohammad Isam
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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