When it comes to the leadership role, Tamim Iqbal has been so close yet so far from filling the position over the years in Bangladesh cricket.
However, regular ODI captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza was ruled out of the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka following a hamstring injury sustained during the Tigers’ final training session on the eve of their departure for the island nation on Friday.
Vice-captain Shakib Al Hasan is also unavailable for the tour as the star all-rounder had earlier requested a break on personal grounds. This left the Bangladesh Cricket Board will little choice to fill the captain’s shoes other than Tamim.
The dashing opener has been a core member of the Bangladesh team’s leadership for quite some time but with a couple of members of that core group missing out on the tour, it comes as a special challenge for Tamim to lead the side in the three-match ODI series in Sri Lanka, which will be his first full tour as skipper.
Although this is not the first time that Tamim has taken up the role, having led Bangladesh in the second Test against New Zealand at Christchurch after regular skipper Mushfiqur Rahim injured his finger and missed the match, which Bangladesh lost by nine wickets.
However, the series in Sri Lanka will be a big test for Tamim as both a captain and batsman as the left hander had a below-par World Cup campaign considering the standards he has set for himself over the past three years.
According to Tamim, the tour of Sri Lanka will be a challenging one but at the same time, the thirty-year-old added that he does not see any reason for the team to not do well.
“The decision of appointing a captain generally comes from the board and I will try to fulfil the responsibility given to me. I think this series is very important for us as those who are going with the team have a lot to prove. The experienced members on the side are not going on this tour due to injuries and other reasons so, I think the series will be very challenging. Sri Lanka is a very strong side on their home soil but we did see that we played well in the previous series,” Tamim told reporters before their departure for Sri Lanka yesterday.
It will be interesting to see how Tamim will cope with the responsibility of leading the side with the absence of two of the more experienced cricketers in the likes of Shakib and Mashrafe. In addition, the team will probably look to use this series to overcome their failures in the just concluded World Cup, where the Tigers finished in eight position.