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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Tamim Iqbal: India’s nemesis

Tamim Iqbal played a crucial role in knocking out India out of the World Cup in 2007.

Written by Chandresh Narayanan |
Updated: March 18, 2015 11:43:21 pm
Tamim Iqbal, Tamim Iqbal Bangladesh, Bangladesh Tamim Iqbal, IndvBan, BanvInd, India vs Bangladesh World Cup 2015, 2015 BanvInd, Cricket News, Cricket Tamim Iqbal played a crucial role in knocking out India out of the World Cup in 2007. (Source: AP)

The one man in Bangladesh camp, who has been a thorn in India’s flesh over the years has been left-handed opener Tamim Iqbal. He has featured in two of the three losses that India has suffered at the hands of Bangladesh.(Full Coverage| Venues | Fixtures)

In World Cup 2007, chasing a modest target of 192, Bangladesh needed a swift start to shut out all Indian hopes of a resurgence. Tamim struck a brisk 53-ball 51 with seven boundaries and two sixes to help knock out India.

READ: Bangladesh’s recent ODI record should give them confidence

Then in the third and last win over India in the 2012 Asia Cup at Dhaka, India set what seemed to be an imposing 290 for a win. Bangladesh chased that down in the 50th over.The hero of the win? Who else, but Tamim Iqbal who top-scored with 70 off 99 balls. Tamim Iqbal spoilt what was a grand day for Sachin Tendulkar. The Indian maestro had hit his much awaited 100th international century that day, but Tamim Iqbal spoilt it by leading Bangladesh to a famous five-wicket win.

READ: ‘I know what sort of batting is needed for ODIs’

Sadly, Tamim Iqbal has suffered a stop-start career since then.

He was thereafter also hampered majorly by a knee injury and had to undergo a surgery in December 2014 in Melbourne. There were some doubts about Tamim actually getting ready in time for the World Cup. But the left-handed opener battled pain, took  platela-rich plasma (PRP) injections before returning to the Bangladesh set-up at the pre-World Cup training camp in Brisbane.


Earlier in the season, however, Tamim showed signs of making a return to his usual free-flowing style during the Test series against Zimbabwe. He struck his first Test hundred in four years. He thanked the team coach Chandika Hathurusingha and Test captain Mushfiqur Rahim for his return to form.

“I possibly didn’t make too many technical adjustments. When a batsman doesn’t score runs, he must have developed a bad habit. I am sure I was making small mistakes too. After Hathu (Bangladesh coach) arrived, we were watching old videos from which he identified small mistakes. We worked on it. I think that’s why my shots are flowing better from my bat,” Tamim had said in November 2014.

He showed that he understood his problems but had wanted someone to work with him. “When nothing was working for me, I tried to attack from the first ball but I failed. I decided to go back to the basics and start from scratch. I think that has paid off for me. If you score centuries regularly, it can take you to the next level. There are many innings which had rush of blood and I got out.”

The Bangladesh side realises the value of having Tamim at the top of the order. Hence the captains, Mushfiqur in Tests and Mashrafe Mortaza in ODIs back him wholeheartedly.
Tamim is only too glad to receive this support. “I want to thank Mushfiqur from the bottom of my heart. He backed me in my tough period. I have told him in the dressing room. I would also tell the coach the same thing. When he started working here, I wasn’t batting well. But he backed me, told me some very good things. Sometimes words are more effective than action when you are going through a lean patch.”

At this World Cup thus far, Tamim has scored 125 runs in five matches with a best of 95. He averages just 25.80 and his strike rate is at a low 72.47. For Bangladesh to beat India on Thursday, it is essential that Tamim strikes form. If he does that, Bangladesh could well be romping home to their fourth win over India.

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