More importantly, Tamim, who hails from Chittagong and is an inspirational figure to millions of cricket-mad Bangladesh fans, provided an insight as to how he handles criticism, which often flows in his direction undeservedly.
Here are the excerpts:
You recently scored your eighth ODI ton and joined the 10,000-run club. Tell us how you feel.....
It’s a great feeling. The most important thing is that Bangladesh won. Century is important but the most important thing is if that century contributes to a team win. It’s a great feeling for me that I scored a hundred and Bangladesh won.
You made an impressive 82 in the Colombo Test. How special was that knock compared to your back-to-back centuries in England?
I don’t compare innings'. Scoring 82 runs in the fifth day against Sri Lanka while chasing is obviously special as we won the match. It was a historic moment for us as we won against Sri Lanka on their soil. But those two centuries against England were also special to me as no other Bangladesh batsman scored hundreds in that series. Actually, every century is special to me and I don’t want to compare each other.
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For Tamim, every significant Test knock is special AFP
Bangladesh have come a long way since your debut. How do you evaluate the team's performances over the last few years?
It feels really great to become a part of this team. In the first part of my career, we used to lose matches regularly, then we lost close matches, now we are winning. From that time (2007), many players worked really hard like myself, Shakib [al Hasan], Mushfiqur [Rahim, [Mahmudullah] Riyad bhai, Mashrafe bin [Mortaza] bhai. We have seen all the phases. It feels really good that we have overcome all the difficulties and became a competitive side. Now we will try to improve our standard more and try to play positive cricket in future.
Following the Galle Test defeat, it seems the Tigers' attitude has changed drastically. How did it all start?
After the defeat in the Galle Test, we (players) had a team meeting with each other. We were determined that we had to fix our mistakes and bounce back immediately. That helped us in the second Test. Probably it helped us to play with a positive mindset and attitude in a crunch tie. So after that win, we decided that we will sit before every match and discuss how we can improve our game play. Sometimes this strategy may not work as we might lose some games. But we will continue it in future for the betterment of our cricket.
Amid overcast conditions, you smashed a brisk 50-ball 56 in the Wellington Test this year. What was the plan? Did you set about playing shots right from the very beginning?
Actually, It was a difficult pitch to bat on. We lost the toss and had to bat under windy conditions. It became good for batting from day two onwards. But it was a lot more difficult on day one. In those conditions, I realised that if I just play for survival at the crease, then it could prove to be more difficult for me. So I decided to bat with positive intention. My plan was to play natural shots and don’t lose out on scoring opportunities. I thought if I could do that then it will give a good massage to the rest of the batsmen in that scoring is possible. Fortunately, I capitalised on the scoring options and scored some quick runs.
Did you follow any player as role model while growing up?
My late father is my only role model in my life. I have learnt a lot from him. And in cricket, I liked the way how Sanath Jayasuriya or Yuvraj Singh played. But that does not mean I copied them. I just liked their batting.
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The southpaw says there is still six-seven years left in him in international cricket AFP
You burst onto the scene with your eye-catching half-century against India in the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean. How do you assess your career?
Currently I have eight centuries in both ODIs and Tests. But I think I should have converted some of my 50s into 100s. That’s one of the main regrets for me after spending 10 years in international cricket. But I am 28 years old now. If everything goes well I believe I still have six-seven years left in my career. So I will try to convert 50s into big 100s in future.
Players often face criticism on social media, none more so than you. How do you tackle it?
I have gone through some tough times in my career. I was low on runs. There were lots of criticism during that tough period. Criticism is fair if anyone fails to perform in top level. But for me, I think it crossed the line to some extent. I wanted to answer the critics with a big score at one point. But I was wrong. Because such thinking created more pressure on me. Then I realised that I should have worked hard on my basics rather than think of what the critics are saying. Then I worked hard on my batting and finally overcame that bad patch. That was a learning curve for me. If that happens again in my career then I will concentrate on my batting skills rather than think what the critics are saying.
Have you set any targets for the rest of your career?
I have no specific targets at the moment. I want to score as many as runs I can for Bangladesh. I want to improve my batting so that I can play more longer innings'.
You have played under some good coaches in the national team. How did those coaches influenced you in your career?
All the coaches are good. Our current coach Chandika Hathurusingha is technically and tactically very strong. In all three departments - batting, bowling and fielding - Hathurusingha’s ability to read the game is brilliant. We are learning a lot of things from our current coach. But I think Jamie Siddons gave us belief that we can convert ourselves into a competitive side. And for me, Siddons was one of the best coaches for Bangladesh as far as batting goes. At that time, Siddons taught our batsmen many things, which really helped us later.