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Why Tamim did not open for Bangladesh against South Africa

  • Published at 07:52 pm September 29th, 2017
  • Last updated at 02:22 am September 30th, 2017
Why Tamim did not open for Bangladesh against South Africa
Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal went off the field for around 49 minutes before the tea interval and left-arm spinner Taijul Islam replaced him on the field during day two of their first Test match against South Africa at Senwes Park. The Proteas went to the tea break on 496 runs for the loss of three wickets with middle-order batter Temba Bavuma and captain Faf du Plessis the unbeaten batsmen at the crease. Bavuma was batting on 31 and Du Plessis 26. It was expected that South Africa will bat one more hour and then probably declare to take some key wickets late in the day. But surprisingly South Africa made the declaration during the middle part of the short-term break. According to the laws of the game, since Tamim was out of the field for 49mins, he can only come out to bat after the same duration from the start of Bangladesh’s innings.

Also read: South Africa in driving seat against Bangladesh after day two

Hence, Bangladesh were forced to deploy Liton Kumar Das and Imrul Kayes as openers, even though Liton kept wickets for 146 overs. Tamim is one of the in-form batsman for Bangladesh in Tests this year as he has scored 498 in 14 Test innings, with five half-centuries, at an average of 35.57. As the other regular opener Soumya Sarkar was out of the match injured and Tamim was unavailable to open the innings, Bangladesh needed to change their batting order. The tactic seemed to work for South Africa as Bangladesh lost both the openers within 10.2 overs.

Watch: Game on for Bangladesh vs SA, 1st Test- Day 2

Imrul scored seven and Liton 25. Tamim has played 98 innings in his Test career. He has never batted in any other position than the opening slot. The left-hander always plays as the No 1 batsman in the order. He always faces the first delivery. Tamim also opened the batting for Bangladesh in 171 ODI innings and 59 T20I innings.

Also read: Tour Diary, Potchefstroom, a perfect training place for international athletes

Tamim took strike in all of his T20I innings but only seven times did he not face the first delivery among his 171 ODI innings. Such tactical move is not unfamiliar from Du Plessis. He made a similar bold move against Australia last year in November when left-hander David Warner was out of the field. South Africa were 259/9 in Adelaide when Warner was out of the field. Du Plessis made the surprising declaration call and as a result, Australia were forced to open the innings with Usman Khawaja and regular opener Matt Ranshew.
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