Bangladesh v India, 2nd Test, Mirpur January 23, 2010

Bangladesh no more in awe of India, says Tamim

Tamim Iqbal, the Bangladesh opener, has said the home team respects India but are not in awe of them any more. He also said that Bangladesh were slowly learning how to play Test cricket and their improvement would be evident the more quality opposition they played.

"Previously, you used to feel you are playing Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag and were in awe. Now, we just play each other as other players," he said on the eve of the second Test. "That is one of the positives and an improvement. The main factor for this turnaround in attitude is the coach Jamie Siddons. We truly believe in him. He was the main guy in changing the attitude. And obviously the more the matches we play, [the] better our cricket gets."

Certain sections of the media have been playing up the sledging issue - Mushfiqur Rahim had said he was called a "school boy" by the Indians in Chittagong - but Tamim sought to clarify his stand on the issue. "Let me make it clear that it's just part of the game," he said. "Both teams have a great relationship with each other and we get along very well off the field."

Tamim said he was learning and enjoying the challenge of playing Test cricket. "In ODIs, you can survive but in Tests need you to be on top of the game. It's a great challenge. I am a batsman who likes to bat less balls for more runs. And I am trying to change that for Tests. I am concentrating on batting long and I know if I stay there, runs will come."

Tamim got starts in both the innings of the first Test, but was done in by an incutter from Zaheer Khan in the first innings and edged an expansive drive in the second off Sehwag. "It was interesting. I always used to keep talking to myself just before I bat. It's a routine," he said on his learning curve. "The one ball I didn't do that, I got out. It's a matter of focus and concentration. I played 122 ball ... one ball I didn't say anything I got out. I like to attack the loose deliveries and its a matter of getting the balance right. I am learning and soon I will get it right. I really want to do well in Test cricket."

Tamim was also asked about the Bangladesh Cricket Board president's views that the players lacked commitment, but he chose to remain silent on the issue. "No comments. I really wouldn't want to say anything on that. Let's talk about something else."

He also rallied behind Shariar Nafees and Mohammad Ashraful who have been struggling for runs. "Nafees is just coming back after a long time. Its always difficult to come back. He needs some time. Ashraful too is a very good player. He has hit five hundreds and he will score very soon."

Tamim felt that if Bangladesh did not commit the mistakes they did in the first Test, they can expect a positive result in the second. "We are an inexperienced Test side and we are learning," he said. "Some days our batting clicks, some days our bowling clicks. We have to get more consistent."

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at Cricinfo