Tamim Iqbal uses festive period to hone batting skills

Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal opted to spend the festive period of Eid at the national academy in Dhaka sharpening his batting skills ahead of his team’s upcoming Test series in West Indies, starting on July 4. While rest of his teammates were back home taking in Eid vacations, Iqbal was in the national capital, well ahead of the scheduled resumption of Bangladesh’s training camp, on June 20.

“I can’t remember the last time I did not spend my Eid in Chittagong apart from my overseas assignments. Every year I spend Eid in Chittagong but this is the first time I am in Dhaka,” Iqbal told Cricbuzz after the lengthy session. “When the team is doing well, the players are also confident. But what I felt after watching their game was that my preparation is not enough. So I thought I should prepare myself more and that’s the reason I am doing some extra work.”

“I believe that I can’t guarantee success and run-making, but If I can prepare myself hundred percent, then the job gets easier. Even if I fail despite preparing myself, then I can tell myself that I have tried my best but it didn’t happened. It’s important to prepare well to play well and that’s the reason of my extra work,” he said.

Tamim split the session that lasted for more than an hour, into two phases, and had his mentor Mohammad Salahuddin watching over him. In the opening phase he was seen to be perfecting his back foot defenses through the deliveries provided by personal throwdown specialist Sentu, while in the second phase, he was designed to play pull shots with the bowling machine in operation in scorching heat.

“I like to talk about my batting with him [Salahuddin] and I think he understands the way I think about my game and batting,” Iqbal said. “I was not happy in the first one or two sessions as I felt that may be I am doing something wrong so that was the reason I asked him to have a look at my batting and rectify whats wrong,” he said. “He identified a couple of things and I will try to work on it in the practice session.”

The opening batsmen feels the visitors will be greeted with green tops and reckons ‘leaving the ball’ will be key. “Well it’s easy to predict as I think there will be a lot of grassy wickets there and the two Test matches I have witnessed recently there was also grassy wickets. There is less chances of a flat track if you play four fast bowlers in the side and I think it will be helpful for the bowlers,” Iqbal said.

“Obviously just because it’s a grassy wicket we can’t go with the mindset that we have to survive because than it will be more difficult.I think we have to play with a positive attitude and leaving the ball will be the key along with batting for longer periods but positive mindset will be even more important,” he added. “Whenever you have the opportunity to score runs you have to and I think it helps the batsman to get refreshed so I think it will be a mix of both [caution and aggression],” he added.

Iqbal also talked up the importance of the practice match that Bangladesh will play ahead of the series. “Normally whenever we play overseas it happens with any Asian teams… if any non-Asian team comes at the sub-continent, we prefer spin tracks,” Iqbal said. “So we have to face the challenge and I can say that it’s not going to happen for the first time as we did faced that in South Africa and also in New Zealand,” he said. “The good thing is we will get seven-eight days before the first Test and we will also play a practise match and I think it will be the key,” he added.

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