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Tamim wants Bangladesh to play more, and better, on 'true wickets'

For that, the third ODI against England has been shifted from spin-friendly Dhaka to batting-friendly Chattogram

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
26-Feb-2023
Tamim Iqbal last played for Bangladesh in August 2022  •  AFP/Getty Images

Tamim Iqbal last played for Bangladesh in August 2022  •  AFP/Getty Images

Tamim Iqbal has said that Bangladesh are taking firm steps towards playing on more batting-friendly pitches with the upcoming ODI World Cup in mind. He said that originally the three-match ODI series against England was supposed to be played at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka, but then the last match was shifted to the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram.
Both pitches are vastly different. The Dhaka pitch is a spinners' paradise, with the ball gripping and turning often. It is often considered as Bangladesh's fortress across all formats. The Chattogram surface, on the other hand, is more batting-friendly.
"We have been discussing about playing better on true wickets," Tamim said. "You will see a reflection of our thinking, starting from this series when we shifted the third ODI to Chattogram instead of playing all the matches in Dhaka. It is a step forward. We are expecting mostly batting-friendly wickets in the World Cup. But we must remember that while trying to make these changes, we cannot be result-oriented. We have to tolerate losing. We have to be open for both results in the short-term, but in two or three months, we will get results."
Tamim said that they are trying to figure out how to tackle the Dhaka pitches against the new ball; it was tough for both India and Bangladesh when they played there back in December.
"Both teams had a top-order issue during the India series," Tamim said. "It was difficult for both teams against the new ball in Dhaka. The middle orders did well against the older ball. We are talking about it as a group, how we can minimise the issue. We have to avoid putting the lower-middle order under too much pressure."
Tamim, however, is looking forward to more heroics from Mehidy Hasan Miraz, the Player-of-the-Series against India during the ODI leg when he made two gallant efforts to clinch the series for Bangladesh.
"He makes the life of a captain much easier to make the XI," Tamim said of Miraz. "Shakib was the only genuine allrounder in the team, but now we consider Miraz in the same bracket. We can add an extra bowler, as we can count Miraz as a batter the way he is playing.
"It is a blessing for us, the way he has performed. He has incredible talent and self-belief. You can have incredible talent, but without incredible self-belief, you cannot win those matches. He has both."
Tamim himself is making a comeback, having missed the last six months of action for Bangladesh. He said he has prepared well but is eager to find out what he can do in the middle.
"I can take the best preparation, train as hard as I can. We will see the end result in the game. I thought I had a decent BPL, but that's in the past. This is a new challenge. I am getting prepared to the best of my ability. If I score, brilliant, if I don't, I will keep working hard."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84