Tamim looks to get in the groove
Rain was in the offing at Sylhet and it rendered any outfield activities impossible yesterday for the Tigers who perhaps thankfully took the opportunity to take in the relaxing day from the team hotel.
Liton Das was watching on from a balcony in the team hotel as it drizzled away. He captured a video as soggy morning made the distant hills barely visible. Liton's opening partner and ODI captain Tamim Iqbal was the only player who showed up at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on a previously scheduled rest day for the team with no practice.
Tamim had ignored the slumber of a day and made it to the stadium to work on his individual game, with head coach Chandika Hathurusingha, spin coach Rangana Herath and team logistics manager Nafees Iqbal coming along with the skipper.
Bangladesh had won by their biggest margin in terms of runs in ODIs just a day before. The 183-run win saw batters grab the limelight with an aggressive intent before bowlers left their mark by dismantling Ireland for 155. Shakib Al Hasan was back in his element immediately with an 89-ball 93. Debutant Tawhid Hridoy, too, missed out on a century during a productive 92 off 85 deliveries. Mushfiqur Rahim showed sublime hitting prowess during a quickfire 26-ball 44. Liton Das and Najmul Hossain Shanto had found starts but were unable to carry on earlier during that Bangladesh innings but both have been amongst runs.
Tamim hit two fifties during the 2-1 away series loss to Zimbabwe in August last year but his bat has not smiled since.
The only dark cloud in Tamim's mind may have been his own performances recently.
Tamim hit two fifties during the 2-1 away series loss to Zimbabwe in August last year but his bat has not smiled since. The left-hander had already announced retirement from T20Is and also sat out the India series due to an injury problem. Having returned for the England ODIs, he was not able to make an impression.
Hathursingha had been in a groovy mood during the morning, moving his head enjoying the melody out of his headphones but the coach had a more serious purpose.
Tamim batted at the indoor nets to throwers and had a one-on-one with Hathurusingha, who displayed some shots to the captain, focusing primarily on the angle with which his bat came down.
Fazalhaq Farooqi of Afghanistan had dismissed him with identical deliveries, shaping into the left-hander in the ODI series at home last year. After a 41 and 87 not out in South Africa, it looked like Tamim's troubles have been eradicated, but Mark Wood went through his defences beating him for pace and Sam Curran outswinger troubled him to no ends in the recently concluded England series.
At Sylhet, he nicked Mark Adair at first slip to depart for three. Tamim looked to gain back some control and talked it out with Hathrusingha.
Herath, meanwhile, celebrated his birthday at the indoor nets area with Tamim and Hathurusingha along with the staff and net bowlers. The spin coach was happy with the aggressive batting from the team.
"I think it's fantastic effort by the all-team members. Especially Tawhid and Shakib, and then Mushfiqur and also Yasir [Ali]. Their aggressive approach was fantastic. We are showing a brand of our cricket at the moment. Hopefully we will do the same thing tomorrow as well," Herath told the media yesterday.
At the moment, the team is enjoying a good moment but the weather conditions are expected to be pretty similar today, a threat to the second ODI at Sylhet. Tamim will be hoping the clouds stay away as he prepares to get back in the groove.