Aware of the fact that Bangladesh have not reached Colombo in the best shape for the Nidahas T20I tri-nation series, the Tigers’ opener Tamim Iqbal believes the series involving India and host Sri Lanka will be a challenge.
Bangladesh experienced a drastic fall in their on-field performance recently, losing five out of nine international matches played in the last two months. On top of that, the side are still missing a head coach in the dressing room, having arrived in the island nation with a makeshift head coach in the shape of Windies great Courtney Walsh. The Tigers are also missing one of their key members of the team, all-rounder Shakib al Hasan, who is recovering from a finger injury.
Tamim, who joined the team Sunday night in Colombo having participated in the Pakistan Super League T20 in the UAE, said any team can go through the phase that Bangladesh are going through right now and that their job would be to pull themselves out rather than panicking.
"It will be a different challenge here for me and also our team. We know that we are not in the best of form as a team but this can happen as I have said it’s normal for a batsman and a bowler, we go through good form and bad patches. So, as a team it is quite normal for that to happen. Sometimes we play well as a team and sometimes we don't play well," said Tamim to the media during training at P Sara Oval Monday.
"For me the most important thing for a batsman when he is out of form is not to panic. I think in some cases we are panicking a lot and I feel we need to curb that since, as a team, you have to accept that when things are not going well, we should not be panicking and we need to go back to the basics. We have to remember the basics which we executed to achieve results in the last few years and we have to progress in that way," the hard-hitting Bangladesh batsman added.
However, Bangladesh are just one win away from lifting themselves up again, believes Tamim. With Shakib not in the scene, the southpaw agreed that Bangladesh will be missing their best player but there is no point thinking about it. Rather, the men in red and green should be focused on themselves and the seniors have to take the added responsibility.
"We are just one game away from playing our best cricket again. So, winning a game or doing well in a game is the most important thing at the moment. The best thing for the team is that everybody is ready for the challenge and we know how important this tour is for us and how important the first game is for us. So, we are preparing in that way so that we can make an impact from the first game and do well in this series," Tamim explained.
"We (seniors) need to be responsible because we have the experience, we have played more than them (juniors). We have the added responsibility, which is, when there is a particular situation during a game, you need experience to take over. So, in those situations if we can play well and use our experience then it would be good for the team," he added.
Bangladesh in their first game of the series will take on India Thursday at R Premadasa Cricket Stadium. Before going into the campaign of redeeming themselves from their poor showings in recent times, the Tigers will play a T20 practice game against a local club Tuesday at Colombo Cricket Club ground. According to Tamim, Bangladesh's success will largely depend on a panic-less dressing room.
"All of us started panicking because the team were doing so well and suddenly, in a series, things did not go as we had wished. I feel all of us have been panicking but whenever you don't play well, that is the right time to come together and become as less panicked as possible. If we don't play well then lots of things would be said, which is normal. I am not trying to defend it or use it as an excuse," said Tamim.