Tamim Iqbal, the Bangladesh opening batsman, has announced his intentions of top scoring in every match he plays during the 2011 World Cup, which starts on February 19.
"I want to score my first century at Chittagong in the World Cup," he told the Daily Star. "I will try to be the highest scorer in every match in the upcoming World Cup."
Two of Tamim's three ODI centuries have come at Mirpur, while his only away century was against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo. He has only played two matches in Chittagong, and narrowly missed out on a century in his last match there, in December 2010, when he smashed 95 against Zimbabwe. He will have two opportunities during the World Cup, with Bangladesh playing group games against England and Netherlands on his home ground.
After a successful first half of 2010, in which he scored an ODI century against England and two Test centuries against them at Lord's and Old Trafford, Tamim underwent surgery on his wrist in September and had to miss Bangladesh's 4-0 home ODI series win against New Zealand. He returned for the series against Zimbabwe and the 95 he scored in the fifth ODI won Bangladesh the series.
Bangladesh had a team practice in Chittagong on Friday, and Tamim said he was putting in long hours in the nets. "All of us are enjoying the sessions and the environment is also good. Now I am mentally relaxed and am practicing batting for a long time in the nets," Tamim said. "You will have good or bad days but we are all prepared to give our best. If we all do well, the team will gain from the tournament."
Bangladesh will play a warm-up match against Canada in Chittagong, on February 12, and then another against Pakistan on February 15, in Mirpur.
In the 2006-07 World Cup, Bangladesh stunned India in the first round, with Tamim scoring a half-century. Junaid Siddique, the left-hand batsman, hadn't yet made his international debut then, but he is expected to be Bangladesh's No.3 during this year's tournament, and is aware of how important their first fixture, against India in Mirpur on February 19, will be.
"As Bangladesh will play the first match of the World Cup with India, we are trying to develop our performance," Junaid said. "I hope we will achieve the right result for the country."
Junaid started his career as an opener, but has shifted down to the No. 3 spot in recent times. "Last one year I am playing at No. 3 and feeling comfortable in this position," he said. "I think those who are openers can suit themselves to any position." Junaid averages just 16.72 in ODIs he has played in as an opener, while at No. 3 his average is 33.57.