Change in mindset brings relief to Bangladesh | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 04, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:25 AM, March 04, 2020

Change in mindset brings relief to Bangladesh

There was hardly any celebration from Tamim Iqbal when he reached his 12th ODI hundred, his first since July 2018, against Zimbabwe in the second ODI yesterday. The left-handed opener just looked up at the heavens and soaked in the applause from teammates in the dressing room.

The 30-year-old also reached quite a few other milestones, surpassing his own record for the highest individual ODI score for Bangladesh of 154 as he was eventually dismissed after a magnificent 158 off 136 balls, which featured 20 fours and three sixes.

Tamim also became the first Bangladesh batsman to score 7,000 runs in the format but aside from all these achievements, it was perhaps relief more than any other emotion that washed over the left-hander as he finally rediscovered his best.

There had been a lot of criticism about Tamim's recent batting approach, with questions raised over his conservative batting and what has been perceived as a tendency to overthink, but the left-hander finally managed to break the shackles in grand style.

Yesterday's inning was in stark contrast to his knock in the first ODI on Sunday, when he scored 24 off 43 balls.

There was no change in technique or any improvisation from him yesterday. Instead, Tamim just looked relaxed and seemed a batsman with a clear mind.

His change in mindset was evident right from the start and, after a watchful start, the left-hander displayed the aggressive side of one of the more complete batting arsenals in the country when he struck his first boundary with a gorgeous pull off Carl Mumba.

Since then it was a walk in the park for Tamim as he smashed back-to-back boundaries in the next over of Charlton Tshuma, and off good deliveries, indicating that it was about to be a special day.

There were no issues about maintaining a good strike rate or feeling the pressure to look for boundaries, which has been the case for the left-hander in recent times; Tamim was enjoying his batting, and that seemed to be enough.

Tamim raced to his fifty off 42 balls and yes, he did remain watchful, but that has always been part of his game plan to play a big knock.

There was a phase when, alongside Mahmudullah Riyad, there were no boundaries for 59 balls but Tamim remained calm and snapped the streak by slapping pacer Donald Tiripano towards point to enter the nineties.

Tamim was even more focused in the nineties and eventually reached the milestone off 106 balls when he tapped Sean Williams for a couple towards cover.

The best part of Tamim's innings was his hunger to go even further and he started to cut loose as he smashed three fours and a six to take 24 runs off Tinotenda Mutombodzi in the 40th over as Bangladesh set their stall for a big total.

It took just 26 balls for Tamim to score his next fifty and it was his positive intent, a mixture of calm and aggression, that put a high price tag on his wicket even after reaching his hundred.

The range of strokes from Tamim -- whether it was the trademark cover drive, straight drive past the bowlers or the pull from the meat of the bat unleashed after rocking back in inimitable fashion -- the left-hander played all the shots in the book with no hesitation about the pitch or conditions.

Tamim may have struck an ODI hundred after nearly two years but even if he was unable to do that yesterday, he would still have felt a lot better over the change in mentality, which made all the difference.

 

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