Tamim Iqbal should focus on being more patient after negotiating the tough initial periods, according to Jamie Siddons, the Bangladesh coach between 2007 and 2011 who is credited in Bangladesh cricket circles for having helped the likes of Shakib Al Hasan, Muhsfiqur Rahim and Tamim become quality international batsmen.
Tamim, the mainstay at the top of the Bangladesh batting circles, has endured a dip in form in recent times. At the 2019 World Cup, he averaged just 29.37, and has been dismissed for 0 and 19 in the two ODIs in Sri Lanka. Tamim has also been bowled out six times in a row now, making it eight for the year.
Tamim had said after Bangladesh's first three matches in the World Cup that he was feeling the pressure, especially after having a lean run at the 2015 World Cup, where he scored just 154 runs in six innings. Most recently, he has usually started well, but then failed to kick on.
Tamim recently got in touch with Siddons, currently head coach at South Australia, for help.
"From what I have seen of him in the Sri Lanka series, Tamim looks comfortable until he gets out," Siddons told ESPNcricinfo. "He got a great yorker in the first game (from Lasith Malinga) and then the shot he got out to in the second game, he just didn't need to play. He is trying to force balls that he doesn't need to. He is ticking the score along okay. He probably is getting a bit impatient.
I would probably straighten up his front foot a little, but he looks like the great player that he isJamie Siddons on Tamim Iqbal
"Teams are bowling well to him and limiting his boundaries. He needs to be a little bit more patient to let the game unfold a bit more. He should look to bat 50 overs, not try to score all the runs in the first 20."
Siddons hasn't spotted a major deficiency in Tamim's batting, but did say a slight technical tweak might help. "Tamim is technically fine. I would probably straighten up his front foot a little, but he looks like the great player that he is," Siddons said. "He has made some amazing innings for Bangladesh. He will keep doing the same. I watched nearly every ball from the Sri Lanka series because he sent me the footage to see what I thought…
"He needed to get through the first ten overs, and there would have been less movement in the ball. He would have been able to build an innings. He would then be able to play outside his off stump to good-length balls. Most bowlers bowled short to him in the World Cup too."
Siddons feels that Tamim is putting too much pressure on himself, the high expectations from himself weighing him down.
"I think the expectations about Tamim, Shakib and Mushfiq is that they are the dominant players in the team. His expectations would have been just as high as the public," Siddons said. "From my point of view, Tamim is as disappointed as anyone. I just think it is coincidental that he has had couple of bad World Cups.
"But opening the batting is a tough position to bat in. The ball is moving around more than it does in the middle order. It is a tough position to hold down, and he has done it so well for a long time for Bangladesh. I just think he has had a bit of bad luck with a few play-ons and couple of good balls. All of a sudden your World Cup is in a bit of a spiral."
Tamim has endured such dips in form in the past, and has successfully bounced back each time. He will need a spot of luck to go his way, but more than that, he needs to be patient. Bangladesh need their premier opener to be back at his best, after all.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84