Ian Baker - Tamim Iqbal is a class act
02 Jun 2010 - 10:53:25
There is one obvious reason that England failed to beat Bangladesh convincingly in the first Test. His name is Tamim Iqbal.
The Tigers' opener followed up his first innings half century with a sublime second innings ton to hold England up and so nearly force a first draw in seven matches.
Five scores of 50 or more in three Tests against England is a phenomenal achievement and Tamim must be a complete nightmare for any bowler to face.
That is because whenever Tamim goes out to bat it looks like he does not give a damn. I don't mean that in a derogatory sense, merely he is intent on throwing all caution to the wind. It does not matter if he gets out, he sees Bangladesh's best chance of winning matches by blasting quick runs.
It is very entertaining to watch an underdog perform, but Tamim, just 22, is a talented batsman indeed. He plays all the shots in the book - perfect on the cover drive and down the ground. He just loves to slog it over cow corner too.
Yes, he probably needs to mature a bit, and learn how to block some balls and has even asked the biggest master blocker Geoffrey Boycott for some advice. One can only imagine just how good Tamim can be.
For now, cricket fans from all over the world simply have to admire his confidence, ability and desire to push Test cricketing boundaries.
England were expected to thrash Bangladesh at Lord's after easily winning two matches in the previous series in March in Chittagong and Dhaka.
But Tamim and especially team-mates Imrul Kayes and Junaid Siddique remarkably repelled England's attack - who were perhaps missing the rested Stuart Broad.
This week's second and final Test at Old Trafford looks likely to be another high quality affair.
Like most Old Trafford pitches through the years, it is expected to take spin which could give the likes of Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah every opportunity to take wickets.
And if Tamim continues to play with the same kind of confidence and he has backed up by his pals, who's to say that Bangladesh cannot pull off a real upset and end England's stranglehold over them?
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