Swinging outstanding sixes and fours Tamim Iqbal created his career’s highest score, 158 thereby helping Bangladesh to beat Zimbabwe by a narrow race of 4 runs in the second One-Day International in Sylhet and thereby took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series, on Tuesday (March 3). The exemplary player has broken his own record for creating the highest score by a Bangladesh batsman, he was going through a down phase in international cricket and thus believes that the recent knock has helped to ease some pressure off him.
Talking about the same, Tamim said the reporters at the team’s hotel in Sylhet on Wednesday, March 4, 2020, “Definitely, there was some pressure. It would be wrong if I say ‘no’, but the good thing was that I was batting well, despite not scoring big”. The Bangladesh batsman added that he knew that a big scoreboard was around the corner and that he didn’t do anything special on the day when he broke his own highest individual score record by a Bangladesh batsman in ODIs.
“It was just a matter of time. I scored 41 in the Test and also in Pakistan. I was also batting well in practice. The confidence was there but unfortunately didn’t score big runs,” he said. “I didn’t do anything different in the last match. What went in my favor was that I got two or three boundaries in the first spell”. “If you see I played an over where they bowled on my leg and I just had to flick it to get boundaries. I didn’t try to go down the track till I got my hundred. I just played cricketing shots. Sometimes my shots went through the gaps and I got boundaries”, he added.
Explaining about his training sessions and how he changed his practice routines in the past few weeks Tamim said, “I had to train differently. When I was batting in the nets, I was trying to not get out. I changed certain things. But it’s a long process. To make myself better, I changed some things. It’s not like I just wanted to score big runs in the last match only. When you are not enjoying, things are not happening for you, fans get frustrated because they want you to do well.”
He further showed gratitude towards his fellow teammates and coach Neil McKenzie for keeping their faith in him despite playing on an average scale & fetching low scores in the previous matches and he said that all this ups and downs in his career has turned him into a more matured person to handle pressure situations. “I’m grateful to the team management and my teammates for not making me feel that I can’t deliver the way they want. They kept on believing in me. The credit for this innings completely goes to them”.
Further talking about Coach Neil McKenzie he said, “Normally, we batsmen go to Neil Mckenzie whenever we face any problem. We like to have his advice. His advice may work for me but maybe not for Liton. It depends on the individual. He is a kind person, who is always helping everyone, and also helped me as much as he could.”
Talking about bad times and good times in his career he said that he can’t count out the possibility of a bad phase in his career, but he knows he has to take the tough times in his stride. “Even when I was in good form from 2015 to 2019, I always said that bad times will come. Even when I was asked how I recovered after a lean phase in 2015, I had said that this time will come again. And I’m telling you again, that this time will come again. That’s the life of a cricketer. Everyone has to face this. What I can try is ensure that this time, the lean phase comes late.”
Let’s hope that Tamim continues to rock the pitch by adding on more hundreds and two hundred in his scoreboard and creating a new record every-time he swings his bat in the stadium.