England v Bangladesh, 2nd Test, Old Trafford, 2nd day June 5, 2010

Tamim's primetime repeat

Tamim Iqbal produced his own highlights reel on the second day at Old Trafford

When cricket matches are interrupted by the weather, broadcasters like to fill the spare hours with highlights packages from previous games. Given this is a Manchester Test anyone watching the box on Saturday afternoon could have been forgiven for thinking the area was living up to its damp reputation, as Tamim Iqbal flayed England around the ground. But as it happened, the sun was beating down on Old Trafford and instead Tamim was producing his own rerun of that memorable effort from Lord's with a second flamboyant hundred in six days.

Compared to his club over long-on on that occasion, the square cut that brought him his run-a-ball hundred at Old Trafford seemed almost restrained, but it didn't prevent him from celebrating with the same sprint and leap towards the dressing room.

His sense of adventure makes him such a watchable batsman and even for a patriotic Manchester crowd there must have been a sense of disappointment when he edged a cut against the local star James Anderson. The Bangladesh demise that followed, losing 10 for 90 in a session as they failed to avoid the follow-on, made it hard for Tamim to savour another fabulous innings.

"Personally it was great, but the team matters," he said. "We didn't play well after a solid start so I'm not that happy. It was really bad. Everyone is really disappointed. We knew we had a perfect opportunity but just threw it away. We are very young but need to learn, it was a perfect set-up."

Tamim is already the finest batsman Bangladesh have produced and at the age of 21 is their second-highest century-maker behind Mohammad Ashraful. The pair make an interesting comparison; both oozing with natural talent, but so far only one is making the most of it. It was interesting to see the start of Ashraful's innings when he arrived with Bangladesh wobbling. He took 22 balls to find the boundary and almost seemed to be willing himself to be restrained, yet threw his start away with a slash to gully for a laboured 45-ball 11. The mantle of Bangladesh's trailblazer has well and truly been handed over.

"When I started Test cricket I was just trying to survive," said Tamim. "I spoke to Jamie [Siddons, the coach] about how to play and he said bat like you do in the ODIs, go out there and enjoy yourself. I always say some days it will look fantastic and other days it will look ugly, but I should carry on this way."

An IPL contract is surely just around the corner for Tamim when the next auction takes place, but while that will boost his bank balance, the greater benefit for Bangladesh cricket would be for him to be picked up by a county. Shakib Al Hasan will be the first Bangladeshi to do so when he joins Worcestershire after the one-day series in July and Tamim should not be far behind.

His wrist injury may prevent anyone signing him for the latter stages of this season, but at the moment Bangladesh are reasonably free from commitments after the 2011 World Cup. A season testing himself in English conditions would allow him to accumulate a wealth of knowledge, which he could then pass on back home as hopefully Shakib will also do.

"I'd love to see him get picked up by a county," Siddons said the day before the Test. "Timewise, he needs a rest at the end of the one-day series. We've had nearly eight months now of solid cricket and the boys are tired. But he is one person that would thrive in the environment, thrive living here and obviously Twenty20 is a real market for him as well as 40-over cricket and [four-day] county cricket. He's made big scores against India and a hundred here and he can do the same thing against county attacks I'm sure."

Now that Tamim has got the taste for Test hundreds the next stage of his development is to build on them. At Lord's he hooked to deep square-leg moments after reaching his ton and here he edged a ball he could barely reach. The period shortly after reaching a hundred is often a weak point for a batsman, but Tamim has the talent to overcome this hurdle, as a career-best 151 against India already testifies.

It is even more important for him to do that regularly, however, because Bangladesh still have a tendency to collapse in a heap, as they demonstrately spectacularly today. From 126 without loss it was a non-stop clatter of wickets. While Siddons will have praised Tamim he will have equally cursed the shots played by Jahurul Islam, bowled through the gate, and Shakib who edged a wild drive against Swann, especially as these batsmen are brought up playing spin for a living.

"It's spinning a lot but we should be adjusted to that because we see a lot back at home," Tamim admitted. "We need to figure out what is going wrong and improve in the second innings."

Andrew McGlashan is assistant editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sanin on June 8, 2010, 11:24 GMT

    THANKs To all Indian guys who are supporting us(BD).......Your good words really encourages us, though we every time we end up with an awful result. It would be awesome to see TAMIM firing in next IPL, i wish all the good lucks for tami and BD TEAM.

  • Bang on June 6, 2010, 14:59 GMT

    @rajasekaran2003, thank you very much for your time and kind words. Now, as also being an Indian fan, I am truly concerened about the new blood in India team! Please raise voice there and make sure players are picked from CRICKET, not for hit-ball-as-you-like IPL!

  • Manu on June 6, 2010, 12:46 GMT

    Being an Indian, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Tamim bat. He has always been one of my favorite batsmen, because he is aggressive. He is not scared of the opposition, whether it's Australia, India or England...he will go after the bowling. He reminds me a lot of Virender Sehwag. I'm sure he can be as good a batsman as Sehwag if he apply himself and go for the big hundreds, 200s and even the 300. The best thing about Bangladesh cricket is that they promote youngsters..which is a big plus. They've shown glimpses of greatness time and again..but now is the time to really step up and win some matches. A good team doesn't consist of 1 or 2 people..it's 11 good players..As Tamim said, the middle order should've batted better and took advantage of the platform that was laid down for them by Tamim. Anywayz, all the best to Tamim Iqbal...I'm sure he'll do well in County Cricket, and also an IPL contract is waiting for him next year.

  • Bang on June 6, 2010, 11:41 GMT

    @ OliverWebber, thank you for your nice words. Shahriar was a bit emotional and carried away but he should not have showed such umbrage.I can apologize for his emotional outburst. Personally, I read all leading British news papers and you are right, there were unbelievingly encouraging reports for Bangladesh cricket. I even joked that the British media was highlighting Bangladesh only to boost their morale against the Ashes LOL. Surprisingly, the tough critic, David Lloyd quite changed his before and after opinion on Bangladesh cricket. Naser Hossain was simply the biggest enthusiast to see many good tthings. I also have seen cricket lovers' comments from all over the world - England, Australia, India included. So, we must show our gratefulness and thank everyone. Those who commented with attitude, can write more but that will not deter Bangladesh progress. It is now the biggest challenge for Bangladesh is to learn from great English mind and never to give up.

  • Mudassir on June 6, 2010, 10:50 GMT

    Tamim is definitely promising to grow into a class player...but the way bd has slumped from 128 for no loss to 216 all out has really overriden tamim's century.we need team effort thats the bottom line

  • deepon on June 6, 2010, 10:19 GMT

    Test cricket is no longer boring anymore because of tamim iqbal. He is the true ambassador of entertaining cricket. If he able to play like this for longer period of time surely he will be in the HALL OF FAME with Gillicrist and other explosive batsman.

  • Michael on June 6, 2010, 10:07 GMT

    Bangladesh is a fast improving team and have shown they belong in the Test arena. However, they will not reach a consistently high standard of performance until they tighten up on the mental side of batting. Ashraful again, Shakib, and even Tamim, played shots that were loose and led to their downfall. Tamim is a great talent, but, he must take his hundreds into the high numbers. Nothing short of being dropped for an extended period will cure Ashraful. As Nasser Hussain said, he is always looking for the " shot of the day", rather than the " innings of the match".Bangladesh have a young and talented batting side. Experience and competition will make them improve. But, Cricket is a game played in the head and all the talent in the world will not help if the mental side is not of the required standard.They have to manage through the tough moments, and, capitalise when they have an advantage. Too many of their batsmen want the glory of a quick fire forty rather than a solid century.

  • Dummy4 on June 6, 2010, 10:04 GMT

    Im not gonna deny the fact that except the openers all other bangladeshi batsmen failed to fight back. Bangladeshi players are young, sometimes they get carried away with their blazing emotions & then they make a fun of themselves trying cheeky shots in test matches n they end up paying the price. Like the way Shakib was playing against Swann it looked like, Shakib is competing with Swann. Bangladesh need to stick together as a team, if players try to play personal game then the country will never be benefitted. Another thing that surprises me is, when i see people talks abt revoking Bangladesh's test status. Especialy when the pakis & indians do. It took India 20 years to win their first test match. compared to all the big-guns of test cricket bangladesh's record is pretty decent & yes they are learning. If you check the recent test stats of Bangladesh you'll figure it out too unless u got prejudiced eyes.

  • Pollok on June 6, 2010, 9:52 GMT

    bangladesh have definately improved from the last time they toured england...ppl from bd & everywhere must remember it will still take a while before they can be competitive in a consistent basis...however the signs are encouraging...& we also need help from every other test playing nations...with their support & not their negativity we can improve even quicker...although there will be distractor i actually think most of the other test playing nations will help & encourage Bangladesh

  • Fazla Rob on June 6, 2010, 9:24 GMT

    was delighted by tamim sparkler innings but frustrated the middle order collapse! all of them wasted tamim's epic innings! though happy to see tamim consistency... if he can continue his great form... wont be too long to compare his name with big name such as brian lara..ponting... who will be our Tamim & golden Tamim :)

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