Tamim with the innings found his first hundred in the format in 21 months and 23 innings and his 12th ODI century and to some extent broke the shell to regain his old reputation as a hard-hitting batsman
Bangladesh opening batsman Tamim Iqbal said he did not bring any change to his approach during his record-breaking 158-run innings that answered widespread critics.
Tamim Tuesday broke his own record of highest score in Bangladesh’s ODI history to help his side seal the three-match series against visiting Zimbabwe.
Tamim, who surpassed his 154 that he made against the same side back in 2009, was bombarded with the criticisms of low strike rates in limited overs cricket but he was aggressive from the very beginning Tuesday, and also broke the record of most number of boundaries struck by a Bangladeshi in an ODI.
Tamim with the innings found his first hundred in the format in 21 months and 23 innings and his 12th ODI century and to some extent broke the shell to regain his old reputation as a hard-hitting batsman.
“Definitely, there was some pressure. It would be wrong if I say no but the good thing was I was batting well, despite not scoring big. It was just a matter of time. I was batting well in practice. The confidence was there. But unfortunately it didn’t happen for long,” said Tamim to the media at the team hotel in Sylhet Wednesday.
“Speaking the truth, I didn’t do anything different in the last match, the thing which goes into my favor is I got two or three boundaries in the first spell. If you see I had an over where the ball was on my leg, I just flicked to have boundaries. The 2009 innings is the memorable one for me because that was the first time we chased down a 300-plus score. People consider chasing 300 easy these days but it was not like that back then,” he said.
Tamim in the innings struck 20 boundaries and three over boundaries and perished in the 46th over with a strike rate of 116.17.
“I didn’t try to hit shots from down the track, I hit them after the hundred but not before the century. I just played cricketing shots, sometimes what happens is last day my shot went to the gap and I got boundaries but in the first ODI my shot didn’t go through gaps, I didn’t get any boundaries,” Tamim explained.
“But the difference between ball and run is quite same, what made you think that I changed many things? The mindset I always have while batting, I had the same mindset in the last match as well. I had positive intention while playing, like if I had not played a shot in the gap I couldn’t have played the innings in the last match,” said the southpaw.
This was yet another occasion for Tamim when he got through a lean patch in his long and illustrious career.
One of the most successful batsmen in Bangladesh’s history informed that he is grateful to his teammates for their support.
“So I’m very grateful to the team management and the teammates, for a single minute they didn’t make me realize that I can’t deliver the way they want. They kept on believing. This innings’ credit completely goes to them,” said Tamim, adding that Neil McKenzie, who recently backed him, also helped him greatly.
“See, he (McKenzie) is our batting coach. Normally we batsmen go to him whenever we face any problem. We like to have his advice. Basically it depends on individual. And he is the kind of person who always tries to help everyone, and helped me as much as he can,” said Tamim, who felt it was the opening of another new chapter in his career.